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Title: Paris and its Story
Author: Okey, Thomas, 1852-1935
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                          PARIS AND ITS STORY

                         _All rights reserved_

                    [Illustration: RUE ST. ANTOINE.]

                             AND ITS STORY


                                T. OKEY

                        [Illustration: colophon]

                            ILLUSTRATED BY
                           KATHERINE KIMBALL
                            & O. F. M. WARD


                       LONDON: J. M. DENT & CO.

                      NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO.

     "I will not here omit, that I never rail so much against France as
     to be out of humour with _Paris_; that city has ever had my heart
     from my infancy; and it has fallen out to me, as of excellent
     things, that the more of other fine cities I have seen since, the
     more the beauty of this gains upon my affections. I love it for its
     own sake, and more for its own native being than the addition of
     foreign pomp; I love it tenderly even with all its warts and
     blemishes. I am not a Frenchman but by this great city great in
     people, great in the felicity or her situation, but above all great
     and incomparable in variety and diversity of commodities; the glory
     of France and one of the most noble ornaments of the world."


    "Quand Dieu eslut nonante et dix royaumes
     Tot le meillor torna en douce France."

                         COURONNEMENT LOYS.


The History of Paris, says Michelet, is the history of the French
monarchy. The aim of the writer in the following pages has been to
narrate the story of the capital city of France on the lines thus
indicated, dwelling, however, in the earlier chapters rather more on its
legendary aspect than perhaps an austere historical conscience would
approve. But it is precisely a familiarity with these romantic stories,
which at least are true in impression if not in fact, that the sojourner
in Paris will find most useful, translated as they are in sculpture and
in painting on the decoration of her architecture both modern and
ancient, and implicit in the nomenclature of her ways. Within the limits
of time and space allotted for the work no more than an imperfect
outline of a vast subject has been possible. The writer has essayed to
compose a story of, not a guide to, Paris. Those who desire the latter
may be referred to the excellent manuals of Murray, Bædeker and of Grant
Allen--the last named being an admirable companion for the
artistically-minded traveller. In controversial matter, such, for
instance, as the position of the ancient Grand Pont, the writer has
adopted the opinions of the most recent authorities.

The story of Paris presents a marked contrast with that of an Italian
city-state whose rise, culmination and fall may be roundly traced. Paris
is yet in the stage of lusty growth. Time after time, like a young
giantess, she has burst her cincture of walls, cast off her outworn
garments and renewed her armour and vesture. Hers are no grass-grown
squares and deserted streets; no ruined splendours telling of pride
abased and glory departed; no sad memories of waning cities once the
mistresses of sea and land; none of the tears evoked by a great historic
tragedy; none of the solemn pathos of decay and death. Paris has more
than once tasted the bitterness of humiliation; Norseman, and Briton,
Russian and German have bruised her fair body; the dire distress of
civic strife has exhausted her strength, but she has always emerged from
her trials with marvellous recuperation, more flourishing than before.

Since 1871, when the city, crushed under a two-fold calamity of foreign
invasion and of internecine war, seemed doomed to bleed away to feeble
insignificance, her prosperity has so increased that house rent has
doubled and population risen from 1,825,274 in 1870 to 2,714,068 in
1901. The growth of Paris from the settlement of an obscure Gallic tribe
to the most populous, the most cultured, the most artistic, the most
delightful and seductive of continental cities has been prodigious, yet
withal she has maintained her essential unity, her corporate sense and
peculiar individuality. Paris, unlike London, has never expatiated to
the effacement of her distinctive features and the loss of civic
consciousness. The city has still a definite outline and circumference,
and over her gates to-day one may read, _Entrée de Paris_. The Parisian
is, and always has been, conscious of his citizenship, proud of his
city, careful of her beauty, jealous of her reputation. The essentials
of Parisian life remain unchanged since mediæval times. Busy multitudes
of alert, eager burgesses crowd her streets; ten thousand students
stream from the provinces, from Europe, and even from the uttermost
parts of the earth, to eat of the bread of knowledge at her University.
The old collegiate life is gone, but the arts and sciences are freely
taught as of old to all comers; and a lowly peasant lad may carry in his
satchel a prime minister's portfolio or the insignia of a president of
the republic, even as his mediæval prototype bore a bishop's mitre or a
cardinal's hat. The boisterous exuberance of youthful spirits still
vents itself in rowdy student life to the scandal of bourgeois
placidity, and the poignant self-revelation and gnawing self-reproach of
a François Villon find their analogue in the pathetic verse of a Paul
Verlaine. Beneath the fair and ordered surface of the normal life of
Paris still sleep the fiery passions which, from the days of the
Maillotins to those of the Commune, have throughout the crisis of her
history ensanguined her streets with the blood of citizens.[1] Let us
remember, however, when contrasting the modern history of Paris with
that of London, that the questions which have stirred her citizens have
been not party but dynastic ones, often complicated and embittered by
social and religious principles ploughing deep in the human soul, for
which men have cared enough to suffer, and to inflict, death.

Those writers who are pleased to trace the permanency of racial traits
through the life of a people dwell with satisfaction on passages in
ancient authors who describe the Gauls as quick to champion the cause
of the oppressed, prone to war, elated by victory, impatient of defeat,
easily amenable to the arts of peace, responsive to intellectual
culture; terrible, indefatigable orators but bad listeners, so
intolerant of their speakers that at tribal gatherings an official
charged to maintain silence would march, sword in hand, towards an
interrupter, and after a third warning cut off a portion of his dress.
If the concurrent testimony of writers, ancient, mediæval and modern, be
of any worth, Gallic vanity is beyond dispute. Dante, expressing the
prevailing belief of his age, exclaims, "Now, was there ever people so
vain as the Sienese! Certes not the French by far."[2] Of their
imperturbable gaiety and the avidity for new things we have ample
testimony, and the course of this story will demonstrate that France,
and more especially Paris, has ever been, from the establishment of
Christianity to the birth of the modern world at the Revolution, the
parent or the fosterer of ideas, the creator of arts, the soldier of the
ideal. She has always evinced a wondrous preventive apprehension of
coming changes. The earliest of the western people beyond Rome to adopt
Christianity, she had established a monastery near Tours a century and a
half before St. Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, had
organised his first community at Subiaco. In the Middle Ages Paris
became the intellectual light of the Christian world. From the time of
the centralisation of the monarchy at Paris she absorbed in large
measure the vital forces of the nation, and all that was greatest in
art, science and literature was drawn within her walls until, in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, she became the centre of learning,
taste and culture in Europe.[3] During the first Empire and the
Restoration, after the tempest was stilled and the great heritage of the
Revolution taken possession of, an amazing outburst of scientific,
artistic and literary activity made Paris the _Ville Lumière_ of Europe.

Paris is still the city in Europe where the things of the mind and of
taste have most place, where the wheels of life run most smoothly and
pleasantly, where the graces and refinements and amenities of social
existence, _l'art des plaisirs fins_, are most highly developed and most
widely diffused. There is something in the crisp, luminous air of Paris
that quickens the intelligence and stimulates the senses. Even the scent
of the wood fires as one emerges from the railway station exhilarates
the spirit. The poet Heine used to declare that the traveller could
estimate his proximity to Paris by noting the increasing intelligence of
the people, and that the very bayonets of the soldiers were more
intelligent than those elsewhere. Life, even in its more sensuous and
material phases, is less gross and coarse,[4] its pleasures more refined
than in London. It is impossible to conceive the pit of a London
theatre stirred to fury by a misplaced adjective in a poetical drama, or
to imagine anything comparable to the attitude of a Parisian audience at
the cheap holiday performances at the Français or the Odéon, where the
severe classic tragedies of Racine, of Corneille, of Victor Hugo, or the
well-worn comedies of Molière or of Beaumarchais are played with small
lure of stage upholstery, and listened to with close attention by a
popular audience responsive to the exquisite rhythm and grace of
phrasing, the delicate and restrained tragic pathos, and the subtle
comedy of their great dramatists. To witness a _première_ at the
Français is an intellectual feast. The brilliant house; the pit and
stalls filled with black-coated critics; the quick apprehension of the
points and happy phrases; the universal and excited discussion between
the acts; the atmosphere of keen and alert intelligence pervading the
whole assembly; the quaint survival of the time-honoured
"overture"--three knocks on the boards--dating back to Roman times when
the Prologus of the comedy stepped forth and craved the attention of the
audience by three taps of his wand; the chief actor's approach to the
front of the stage after the play is ended to announce to Mesdames and
Messieurs what in these days they have known for weeks before from the
press, that "the piece we have had the honour of playing" is by such a
one--all combine to make an indelible impression on the mind of the
foreign spectator.

The Parisian is the most orderly and well-behaved of citizens. The
custom of the _queue_ is a spontaneous expression of his love of
fairness and order. Even the applause in theatres is organised. A
spectacle such as that witnessed at the funeral of Victor Hugo in 1885,
the most solemn and impressive of modern times, is inconceivable in
London. The whole population (except the Faubourg St. Germain and the
clergy) from the poorest labourer to the heads of the State issued forth
to file past the coffin of their darling poet, lifted up under the Arc
de Triomphe, and by their multitudinous presence honoured his remains
borne on a poor bare hearse to their last resting-place in the Panthéon.
Amid this vast crowd, mainly composed of labourers, mechanics and the
_petite bourgeoisie_, assembled to do homage to the memory of the poet
of democracy, scarcely an _agent_ was seen; the people were their own
police, and not a rough gesture, not a trace of disorder marred the
sublime scene. The Parisian democracy is the most enlightened and the
most advanced in Europe, and it is to Paris that the dearest hopes and
deepest sympathies of generous spirits will ever go forth in

  "The struggle, and the daring rage divine for liberty,
   Of aspirations toward the far ideal, enthusiast dreams of brotherhood."

It now remains for the writer to acknowledge his indebtedness to the
following among other authorities, which are here enumerated to obviate
the necessity for the use of repeated footnotes, and to indicate to
readers who may desire to pursue the study of the history of Paris in
more detail, some works among the enormous mass of literature on the
subject that will repay perusal.

For the general history of France the monumental _Histoire de France_
now in course of publication, edited by E. Lavisse; Michelet's _Histoire
de France_, _Récits de l'Histoire de France_, and _Procès des
Templiers_; Victor Duruy, _Histoire de France_; _Histoire de France
racontée par les Contemporains_, edited by B. Zeller; Carl Faulmann,
_Illustrirte Geschichte der Buchdruckerkunst_; the Chronicles of Gregory
of Tours, Richer, Abbo, Joinville, Villani, Froissart, Antonio Morosini;
De Comines; _Géographie Historique_, by A. Guerard; Froude's essay on
the Templars; Jeanne d'Arc, Maid of Orleans, by T. Douglas Murray;
_Paris sous Philip le Bel_, edited by H. Geraud.

For the later Monarchy, the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods, the
Histories of Carlyle, Mignet, Michelet and Louis Blanc; the _Origines de
la France Contemporaine_, by Taine; the _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol.
VIII.; the Memoirs of the Duc de St. Simon, of Madame Campan, Madame
Vigée-Lebrun, of Camille Desmoulins, Madame Roland, Paul Louis Courier;
the _Journal de Perlet_; _Histoire de la Societé Française pendant la
Revolution,_ by J. de Goncourt; Goethe's _Die Campagne in Frankreich_,
1792; _Légendes et Archives de la Bastille_, by F. Funck Brentano; Life
of Napoleon I., by J. Holland Rose; _L'Europe et la Revolution
Française_ by Albert Sorel; _Contemporary American Opinion of the French
Revolution_, by C. D. Hazen. For the particular history of Paris, the
exhaustive and comprehensive _Histoire de la Ville de Paris_, by the
learned Benedictine priests, Michel Félibien and Guy Alexis Lobineau;
the so-called _Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris_, edited by L. Lalanne;
_Paris Pendant la Domination Anglaise_, by A. Longnon; the more modern
_Paris à Travers les Ages_, by M. F. Hoffbauer, E. Fournier and others;
the _Topographie Historique du Vieux Paris_, by A. Berty and H. Legrand.
Howell's _Familiar Letters_, Coryat's _Crudities_, and Evelyn's _Diary_,
contain useful matter. For the chapters on Historical Paris, E.
Fournier's _Promenade Historique dans Paris_, _Chronique des Rues de
Paris_, _Enigmes des Rues des Paris_; the Marquis de Rochegude's _Guide
Pratique à Travers le Vieux Paris_, and the excellent _Nouvel Itinéraire
Guide Artistique et Archéologique de Paris_, by C. Normand, now
appearing in fascicules published by the _Société des Amis des Monuments
Parisiens_, have been largely drawn upon and supplemented by
affectionate memories of an acquaintance with the city dating back for
more than thirty years, and by notes of pilgrimages, under the guidance
of a member of the Positivist Society of Paris, made in 1891 through
revolutionary Paris and Versailles.

For personal help and information the writer desires to express his
obligations to Monsieur Lafenestre, Director of the Louvre: Monsieur L.
Bénédite, Director of the Luxembourg; Monsieur G. Redon, architect of
the Louvre and the Tuileries; Professor A. Legros; and for help in
proof-reading to Mr James Britten.


CHAPTER I                                                           PAGE

GALLO-ROMAN PARIS                                                      1


MEROVINGIAN DYNASTY                                                   12


FEUDALISM                                                             29




PARIS UNDER PHILIP AUGUSTUS AND ST. LOUIS                             61


ART AND LEARNING AT PARIS                                             79


DESTRUCTION OF THE KNIGHTS-TEMPLARS                                  103


DUKE OF ORLEANS--ARMAGNACS AND BURGUNDIANS                           117


OCCUPATION                                                           131




FRANCIS I.--THE RENAISSANCE AT PARIS                                 145


BARTHOLOMEW                                                          161


REIGN, AND ASSASSINATION                                             175


PARIS UNDER RICHELIEU AND MAZARIN                                    192


THE GRAND MONARQUE--VERSAILLES AND PARIS                             209











INDEX                                                                339




RUE ST. ANTOINE                                 _Frontispiece_

POINT DU JOUR                          _facing page_        5

ROMAN BATHS IN MUSÉE DE CLUNY             "    "            8

BOIS DE BOULOGNE--LAC SUPÉRIEUR           "    "           19

RUE ST. JACQUES                           "    "           23

ST. JULIEN LE PAUVRE                      "    "           26

PORT DES ORMES                            "    "           37

L'INSTITUT DE FRANCE                      "    "           44

HOTEL GEROUILHAC                          "    "           51

ST. ETIENNE DU MONT AND TOUR DE CLOVIS    "    "           62

VINCENNES                                 "    "           68

RUE DE VENISE                             "    "           77

LA SAINTE CHAPELLE                        "    "           86

THE SEINE FROM PONT DA LA CONCORDE        "    "           93

LE PETIT PONT                             "    "          100

ILE DE LA CITÉ                            "    "          109

THE SEINE AT ALFORTVILLE                  "    "          117

ON THE QUAI DES GRANDS AUGUSTINS          "    "          124

NOTRE DAME FROM THE NORTH                 "    "          132

PORCH OF ST. GERMAIN L'AUXERROIS          "    "          141

RUE ROYALE                                "    "          146

BOULEVARD ST. MICHEL                      "    "          155

LUXEMBOURG GARDENS                        "    "          165

THE LOUVRE--GALERIE D'APOLLON             "    "          172

ST. GERVAIS                               "    "          178

LUXEMBOURG PALACE                         "    "          181

PLACE DES VOSGES                          "    "          188

PONT ST. MICHEL                           "    "          191

PONT NEUF                                 "    "          194

NOTRE DAME                                "    "          207

PLACE DU CARROUSEL                        "    "          211

VERSAILLES--LE TAPIS VERT                 "    "          214

GRAND PALAIS AND PONT ALEXANDRE           "    "          219

HOTEL DES INVALIDES                       "    "          222

COLONNE VENDÔME                           "    "          230


MONT S. GENEVIÈVE FROM L'ILE S. LOUIS     "    "          238

ST. SULPICE                               "    "          241

MONTMARTRE FROM BUTTES CHAMONT            "    "          251

PLACE DE LA CONCORDE                      "    "          256

EIFFEL TOWER                              "    "          261

ARC DE TRIOMPHE, PLACE DU CARROUSEL       "    "          268

THE LOUVRE, EASTERN ENTRANCE              "    "          274

RUE DROUOT AND SACRÉ COEUR                "    "          278

VERSAILLES--BASSIN DE NEPTUNE             "    "          283

THE OBSERVATORY                           "    "          287

THE LOUVRE FROM THE SOUTH-EAST            "    "          293

ST. EUSTACHE                              "    "          300

THE TROCADERO                             "    "          327

ARC DE TRIOMPHE--PLACE DE L'ETOILE        "    "          330

IN THE GARDEN OF THE TUILERIES            "    "          334



OUR LADY OF PARIS. Early Fifteenth Century  "    "        136

PORTRAIT OF FRANCIS I. JEAN CLOUET          "    "        150

INNOCENTS. JEAN GOUJON                      "    "        166

CHARLES IX. FRANÇOIS CLOUET                 "    "        168

  Sixteenth Century                         "    "        176

  From BLONDEL'S Drawing, showing PERRAULT'S Base.
  (_Reproduced by permission of_ M. LAMPUE) "     "       220

WINGED VICTORY OF SAMOTHRACE                "     "       302


CARDINAL VIRTUES. GERMAIN PILON             "     "       304

  (_Photogravure_)                          "     "       304

  (_Photogravure_)                          "     "       306


JUVENAL DES URSINS. FOUQUET                 "     "       308

SHEPHERDS OF ARCADY. POUSSIN                "     "       310

A SEAPORT. CLAUDE LORRAIN                   "     "       312

  CLAUDE LORRAIN                            "     "       312

  WATTEAU                                   "     "       314

GRACE BEFORE MEAT. CHARDIN                  "     "       316

MADAME RÉCAMIER. DAVID                      "     "       316

LANDSCAPE. COROT                            "     "       318

  OF HIS SONS. DAVID                        "     "       320

THE POND. ROUSSEAU                          "     "       322

THE BINDERS. MILLET                         "     "       324

     The majority of the photographs of sculpture have been taken by
     Messrs. HAWEIS & COLES, while most of the other photographs are
     reproduced by permission of Messrs. GIRAUDON.




THE CITÉ                                             3

REMAINS OF ROMAN AMPHITHEATRE                        6

TOWER OF CLOVIS                                     16

ST. GERMAIN DES PRÉS                                26

ST. JULIEN LE PAUVRE                                32

ST. GERMAIN L'AUXERROIS                             39


LA SAINTE CHAPELLE                                  70

REFECTORY OF THE CORDELIERS                         74

CATHEDRAL OF ST. DENIS                              80

NOTRE DAME: PORTAL OF ST. ANNE                      82

NOTRE DAME--SOUTHERN SIDE                           85

NOTRE DAME AND PETIT PONT                           91

  TO HAVE LIVED                                     94

HÔTEL OF THE PROVOST OF PARIS                       96


PALACE OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF SENS                   113

CHAPEL OF FORT VINCENNES                           122

THE RUE BARBETTE                                   126

TOWER OF JEAN SANS PEUR                            128

L'HOMME ARMÉ                                       135

TOWER OF ST. JACQUES                               147

PONT NOTRE DAME                                    149

CHAPEL, HÔTEL DE CLUNY                             151

WEST DOOR OF ST. MERRI                             152

TOWER OF ST. ETIENNE DU MONT                       153

LA FONTAINE DES INNOCENTS                          161


PETITE GALERIE OF THE LOUVRE                       174

HÔTEL DE SULLY                                     183

PLACE DES VOSGES                                   188



PONT NEUF                                          198

THE INSTITUT DE FRANCE                             208

RIVER AND PONT ROYAL                               225

SOUTH DOOR OF NOTRE DAME                           237

INTERIOR OF ST. ETIENNE DU MONT                    239

HÔTEL DE VILLE FROM RIVER                          279

NOTRE DAME, SOUTH SIDE                             282

ST. SÉVERIN                                        285


OLD ACADEMY OF MEDICINE                            289

COUR DU DRAGON                                     292

ST. GERVAIS                                        294



NEAR THE PONT NEUF                                 303


     _The majority of the three-colour, half-tone and line blocks used
     in this book have been made by the Graphic Photo-Engraving Co.,



MAP OF THE SUCCESSIVE WALLS OF PARIS                              xxiv

PLAN OF PARIS WHEN BESIEGED BY HENRY IV. IN 1590,  _facing page_   175






The mediæval scribe in the fulness of a divinely-revealed cosmogony is
wont to begin his story at the creation of the world or at the confusion
of tongues, to trace the building of Troy by the descendants of Japheth,
and the foundation of his own native city by one of the Trojan princes
made a fugitive in Europe by proud Ilion's fall. Such, he was very sure,
was the origin of Padua, founded by Antenor and by Priam, son of King
Priam, whose grandson, yet another Priam, by his great valour and wisdom
became the monarch of a mighty people, called from their fair hair,
Galli or Gallici. And of the strong city built on the little island in
the Seine who could have been its founder but the ravisher of fair
Helen--Sir Paris himself? The naïve etymology of the time was evidence

But the modern writer, as he compares the geographical position of the
capitals of Europe, is tempted to exclaim, _Cherchez le marchand!_ for
he perceives that their unknown founders were dominated by two
considerations--facilities for commerce and protection from enemies: and
before the era of the Roman roadmakers, commerce meant facilities for
water carriage. As the early settlers in Britain sailed up the Thames,
they must have observed, where the river's bed begins somewhat to
narrow, a hill rising from the continuous expanse of marshes from its
mouth, easily defended on the east and west by those fortified posts
which, in subsequent times, became the Tower of London and Barnard's
Castle. If we scan a map of France, we shall see that the group of
islands on and around which Paris now stands, lies in the fruitful basin
of the Seine, known as the Isle de France, near the convergence of three
rivers; for on the east the Marne and the Oise, and on the south the
Yonne, discharge their waters into the main stream on its way to the
sea. In ancient times the great line of Phoenician, Greek and Roman
commerce followed northwards the valleys of the Rhone and of the Saone,
whose upper waters are divided from those of the Yonne only by the
plateau of Dijon and the calcareous slopes of Burgundy. The Parisii were
thus admirably placed for tapping the profitable commerce of north-west
Europe, and by the waters of the Eure, lower down the Seine, were able
to touch the fertile valley of the Loire. The northern rivers of Gaul
were all navigable by the small boats of the early traders, and, in
contrast with the impetuous sweep of the Rhone and the Loire in the
south and west, flowed with slow and measured stream:[5] they were
rarely flooded, and owing to the normally mild winters, still more
rarely blocked by ice. Moreover, the Parisian settlement stood near the
rich corn-land of La Beauce, and to the north-east, over the open plain
of La Valois, lay the way to Flanders. It was one of the river stations
on the line of the Phoenician traders in tin, that most precious and
rare of ancient metals, between Marseilles and Britain, and in the early
Middle Ages became, with Lyons and Beaucaire, one of the chief fairs of
that historic trade route which the main lines of railway traffic still
follow to-day. The island now known as the Cité, which the founders of
Paris chose for their stronghold, was the largest of the group which lay
involved in the many windings of the Seine, and was embraced by a
natural moat of deep waters. To north and south lay hills, marshes and
forests, and all combined to give it a position equally adapted for
defence and for commerce.

[Illustration: THE CITÉ.]

[Illustration: POINT DU JOUR.]

The Parisii were a small tribe of Gauls who were content to place
themselves under the protection of the more powerful Senones. Their
island city was the home of a prosperous community of shipmen and
merchants, but it is not until the Conquest of Gaul by the Romans that
Lutetia, for such was its Gallic name, enters the great pageant of
written history. It was--

                     "Armèd Cæsar falcon-eyed,"[6]

who saw its great military importance, built a permanent camp there and
made it a central _entrepôt_ for food and munitions of war. And when in
52 B.C. the general rising of the tribes under Vercingetorix threatened
to scour the Romans out of Gaul and to destroy the whole fabric of
Cæsar's ambition, he sent his favourite lieutenant, Labienus, to seize
Lutetia where the Northern army of the Gauls was centred. Labienus
crossed the Seine at Melun, fixed his camp on a spot near the position
of the church of St. Germain l'Auxerrois, and began the first of the
historic sieges for which Paris is so famous. But the Gaulish commander
burnt the bridges, fired the city and took up his position on the slopes
of the hill of Lutetius (St. Genevieve) in the south, and aimed at
crushing his enemy between his own forces and an army advancing from the
north. Labienus having learnt that Cæsar was in a tight place, owing to
a check at Clermont and the defection of the Eduans, by a masterly piece
of engineering recrossed the Seine by night at the Point du Jour, and
when the Gauls awoke in the morning they beheld the Roman legions in
battle array on the plain of Grenelle beneath. They made a desperate
attempt to drive them against the river, but they lost their leader and
were almost annihilated by the superior arms and strategy of the Romans.
Labienus was able to join his master at Sens, and the irrevocable
subjugation of the Gauls soon followed. With the tolerant and
enlightened conquerors came the Roman peace, Roman law, Roman roads, the
Roman schoolmaster; and a more humane religion abolished the Druidical
sacrifices. Lutetia was rebuilt and became a prosperous and, next to
Lyons, the most important of Gallo-Roman cities. It lay equidistant from
Germany and Britain and at the issue of valleys which led to the upper
and lower Rhine. The quarries of Mount Lutetius produced an admirable
building stone, kind to work and hardening well under exposure to the
air. Its white colour may have won for Paris the name of Leucotia, or
the White City, by which it is sometimes called by ancient writers.
Cæsar had done his work well, for so completely were the Gauls
Romanised, that by the fifth or sixth century their very language had

But towards the end of the third century three lowly wayfarers were
journeying from Rome along the great southern road to Paris, charged by
the Pope with a mission fraught with greater issues to Gaul than the
Cæsars and all their legions. Let us recall somewhat of the appearance
of the city which Dionysius, Rusticus and Eleutherius saw as they neared
its suburbs and came down what is now known as the Rue St. Jacques.
After passing the arches of the aqueduct, two of which exist to this
day, that crossed the valley of Arcueil and brought the waters of
Rungis,[8] Paray and Montjean to the baths of the imperial palace, they
would discern on the hill of Lutetius to their right the Roman camp,
garrison and cemetery. Lower down on its eastern slopes they would catch
a glimpse of a great amphitheatre, capable of accommodating 10,000
spectators, part of which was laid bare in 1869 by some excavations made
for the Campagnie des Omnibus between the Rues Monge and Linné.
Unhappily, the public subscription initiated by the Académie des
Inscriptions to purchase the property proved inadequate, and the Company
retained possession of the land. In 1883, however, other excavations
were undertaken in the Rue de Navarre, which resulted in the discovery
of the old aqueduct that drained the amphitheatre, and some other
remains, which have been preserved and made into a public park.


On their left, where now stands the Lycée St. Louis, would be the
theatre of Lutetia, and further on the imposing and magnificent palace
of the Cæsars, with its gardens sloping down to the Seine. The turbulent
little stream of the Bièvre flowed by the foot of Mons Lutetius on the
east, entering the main river opposite the eastern limit of the
_civitas_ of Lutetia, gleaming white before them and girdled by
Aurelian's wall[9] and the waters of the Seine. A narrow eel-shaped
island, subsequently known as the Isle de Galilée,[10] lay between the
Isle of the Cité and the southern bank; two islands, the Isles de Notre
Dame and des Vaches, divided by a narrow channel to the east, and two
small islets, the Isles des Juifs and de Bussy, to the west. Another
islet, the Isle de Louviers, lay near the northern bank beyond the two
eastern islands. Crossing a wooden bridge, where now stands the Petit
Pont, they would enter the forum (Place du Parvis Notre Dame) under a
triumphal arch. Here would be the very foyer of the city; a little way
to the left the governor's palace and the basilica, or hall of
justice;[11] to the right the temple of Jupiter. As they crossed the
island they would find it linked to the northern bank by another wooden
bridge, replaced by the present Pont Notre Dame.[12] In the distance to
the north stood Mons Martis (Montmartre) crowned with the temples of
Mars and Mercury, four of whose columns are preserved in the church of
St. Pierre; and to the west the aqueduct from Passy bringing its waters
to the mineral baths located on the site of the present Palais Royal. A
road, now the Rue St. Martin, led to the north; to the east lay the
marshy land which is still known as the quarter of the Marais.

Denis and his companions preached and taught the new faith unceasingly
and met martyrs' deaths. By the mediæval hagiographers St. Denis is
invariably confused with Dionysius, the Areopagite, said to have been
converted by St. Paul and sent on his mission to France by Pope Clement.
In the _Golden Legend_ he is famed to have converted much people to the
faith, and "did do make many churches," and at length was brought before
the judge who "did do smite off the heads of the three fellows by the
temple of Mercury. And anon the body of St. Denis raised himself up and
bare his head between his arms, as the angels led him two leagues from
the place which is said the hill of the martyrs unto the place where he
now resteth by his election and the purveyance of God, when was heard so
great and sweet a melody of angels that many that heard it believed in
our Lord." In an interesting picture, No. 995 in Room X. of the Louvre,
said to have been painted for Jean sans Peur, Duke of Burgundy, by
Malouel, and finished at his death in 1415 by Bellechose, St. Denis in
bishop's robes is seen kneeling before the block; the headsman raises
his axe; one of the saint's companions has already met his fate, the
other awaits it resignedly. To the left, St. Denis in prison is
receiving the Sacred Host from the hands of Christ.


The work that Denis and his companions began was more fully achieved in
the fourth century by the rude Pannonion soldier, St. Martin, who also
evangelised at Paris. He is the best-known of Gallic saints, and the
story of his conversion one of the most popular in Christendom. When
stationed at Amiens he was on duty one bitter cold day at the city gate,
and espied a poor naked beggar asking alms. Soldiers in garrison are
notoriously impecunious, and Martin had nothing to give; but drawing his
sword he cleaved his mantle in twain, and bestowed half upon the
shivering wretch at his feet. That very night the Lord Jesus appeared to
him in a dream surrounded by angels, having on His shoulders the half of
the cloak which Martin had given to the beggar. Turning to the angels,
Jesus said: "Know ye who hath thus arrayed Me? My servant Martin, though
yet unbaptised, hath done this." After this vision Martin received
baptism and remained steadfast in the faith. At length, desiring to
devote himself wholly to Christ, he begged permission to leave the army.
The Emperor Julian, who deemed the Christian faith fit only to form
souls of slaves, reproached him for his cowardice, for he was yet in the
prime of life, being forty years of age. "Put me," exclaimed Martin,
"naked and without defence in the forefront of the battle, and armed
with the Cross alone I will not fear to face the enemy." Early on the
following morning the barbarians submitted to the emperor without
striking a blow, and thus was victory vouchsafed to Martin's faith and
courage, and he was permitted to leave the army. The illiterate and
dauntless soldier became the fiery apostle of the faith, a vigorous
iconoclast, throwing down the images of the false gods, breaking their
altars in pieces and burning their temples. Of the Roman gods, Mercury,
he said, was most difficult to ban, but Jove was merely stupid[13]
and brutish, and gave him least trouble. Martin was a democratic saint,
of ardent charity and austere devotion. Later in life he founded the
monastery of Marmoutier, which grew to be one of the richest in France.
His rule was severe; when his monks murmured at the hard fare he bade
them remember that cooked herbs and barley bread was the food of the
hermits of Africa. "That may be," answered they, "but we cannot live
like the angels."

On the 16th of March 1711, some workmen, digging a tomb for the
archbishop of Paris in the choir of Notre Dame, came upon the walls, six
feet below the pavement, of the original Christian basilica over which
the modern cathedral is built. In the fabric of these walls the early
builders had incorporated the remains of the still earlier temple of
Jupiter, which had been destroyed to give place to the Christian church,
and among the _débris_ were found the fragments of an altar raised to
Jove in the reign of Tiberius Cæsar by the _Nautæ_, a guild of Parisian
merchant-shippers, an altar on whose foyer still remained some of the
very burnt wood and incense used in the last pagan sacrifice. The
mutilated stones, with their rude Gallo-Roman reliefs and inscriptions,
may be seen in the Frigidarium of the Thermæ, the old Roman baths by the
Hôtel de Cluny, and are among the most interesting of historical
documents in Paris. The Corporation of _Nautæ_ who dedicated this altar
to Jove, were the origin of the Commune or Civil Council of Paris, and
in later time gave way to the provost[14] of the merchants and the
sheriffs of that city. Their device was the _Nef_, or ship, which is and
has been throughout the ages the arms of Paris, and which to this day
may be seen carved on the vaultings of the Roman baths.

In the great palace of which these baths formed but a part was enacted
that scene so vividly described in the pages of Gibbon, when Julian,
after his victories over the Alemanni and the Franks, was acclaimed
Augustus by the rebellious troops of Constantius. On a plain outside
Paris Julian had admonished the sullen legions, angry at being detached
from their victorious and darling commander for service on the Persian
frontier, and had urged them to obedience. But at midnight the young
Cæsar was awakened by a clamorous and armed multitude besieging the
palace, and at early dawn its doors were forced; the reluctant Julian
was seized and carried in triumph through the streets to be enthroned
and saluted as emperor. He was lifted on a shield, and for diadem,
crowned with a military collar. In after life the emperor-philosopher
looked back with tender regret to the three winters he spent in Paris
before his elevation to the imperial responsibilities and anxieties. He
writes of the busy days and meditative nights he passed in his dear
Lutetia, with its two wooden bridges, its pure and pleasant waters, its
excellent wine. He dwells on the mildness of its climate, where the
fig-tree, protected by straw in the winter, grew and fruited. One
rigorous season, however, the emperor well remembered[15] when the Seine
was blocked by huge masses of ice. Julian, who prided himself on his
endurance, at first declined the use of those charcoal fires which to
this day are a common and deadly method of supplying heat in Paris. But
his rooms were damp and his servants were allowed to introduce them into
his sleeping apartment. The Cæsar was almost asphyxiated by the fumes,
and his physicians to restore him administered an emetic. Julian in his
time was beloved of the Lutetians, for he was a just and tolerant prince
whose yoke was easy. He had purged the soil of Gaul from the barbarian
invaders, given Lutetia peace and security, and made of it an important,
imperial city. His statue, found near Paris, still recalls his memory in
the hall of the great baths of the Lutetia he loved so well.

The so-called apostasy of this lover of Plato and worshipper of the Sun,
who never went to the wars or travelled without dragging a library of
Greek authors after him, was a philosophic reaction against the harsh
measures,[16] the bloody and treacherous natures of the Christian
emperors, and the fierceness of the Arian controversy. The movement was
but a back-wash in the stream of history, and is of small importance.
Julian's successors, Valentinian and Gratian, reversed his policy but
shared his love for the fair city on the Seine, and spent some winters
there. Lutetia had now become a rich and cultured Gallo-Roman city.



In the Prologue to _Faust_ the Lord of Heaven justifies the existence of
the restless, goading spirit of evil by the fact that man's activity is
all too prone to flag,--

            "_Er liebt sich bald die unbedingte Ruh._"[17]

As with men so with empires: riches and inaction are hard to bear. It
was not so much a corruption of public morals as a growing slackness and
apathy in public life and an intellectual sloth that hastened the fall
of the Roman Empire. Owing to the gradual exhaustion of the supply of
slaves its economic basis was crumbling away. The ruling class was
content to administer rather than to govern and unwilling or incompetent
to grapple with the new order of things.[18] For centuries the Gauls had
been untrained in arms and habituated to look to the imperial legions
for defence against the half-savage races of men, giants in stature and
strength, surging like an angry sea against their boundaries. Towards
the end of the fourth century Vandals and Burgundians, Suevi and
Alemanni, Goth and Hun, treading on each other's heels, burst through
the Rhine frontier, destroyed the Roman garrisons and forts, and
inundated Gaul. Two of these races stayed to form kingdoms: the
Burgundians in the fertile plains of the Rhine; the Visigoths in
Aquitaine and North Spain, whose aid the Romans were fain to seek to
roll back the hordes of Attila's Huns at Chalons-sur-Marne. This was the
last achievement of Roman arms in Gaul, and even that victory was
largely due to the courage of the Goths. In the fifth century the
confederation of Frankish tribes who had conquered and settled in
Belgium saw successive waves of invasion pass by, and determined to have
their part in the spoils of Gaul. They soon overran Flanders and the
north, and at length under Clovis captured Paris and conquered nearly
the whole of Gaul.

The end of the fifth century is the beginning of the evil times of
Gallic story. That fair land of France, "one of Nature's choicest
masterpieces, one of Ceres' chiefest barns for corn, one of Bacchus'
prime wine cellars and of Neptune's best salt-pits," became the prey of
the barbarian. The whole fabric of civilisation seem doomed to
destruction. Gaul had become the richest and most populous of Roman
provinces; its learning and literature were noised in Rome; its schools
drew students from the mother city herself. But at the end of the sixth
century Gregory of Tours deplores the fact that in his time there were
neither books, nor readers, nor scholar who could compose in verse or
prose, and that only the speech of the rustic was understood. He
playfully scolds himself for muddling prepositions and confusing genders
and cases, but his duty as a Christian priest is to instruct, not to
charm, and so he tells the story of his times in such rustic Latin as he
knows. He draws for us a vivid picture of Clovis, the founder of the
French monarchy, his savage valour, his astuteness, his regal passion.

After the victory over Syagrius, the shadowy king of the Romans, at
Soissons, Clovis was met by St. Rémi, who prayed that a vase of great
price and wondrous beauty among the spoil might be returned to him.
"Follow us," said the king, "to Soissons, where the booty will be
shared." Before the division took place Clovis begged that the vase
might be accorded to him. His warriors answered: "All, glorious king,
is thine." But before the king could grasp the vase, one, jealous and
angry, threw his _francisque_[19] at it, exclaiming: "Thou shalt have no
more than falls to thy lot." The broken vase was however apportioned to
the king, who restored it to the bishop. But Clovis hid the wound in his
heart. At the annual review in the Champ de Mars near Paris, the king
strode along the line inspecting the weapons of his warriors. He stopped
in front of the uncourtly soldier, took his axe from him, complained of
its foul state, and flung it angrily on the ground. As the man stooped
to pick it up Clovis, with his own axe, cleft his skull in twain,
exclaiming: "Thus didst thou to the vase at Soissons." "Even so," says
Gregory quaintly, "did he inspire all with great fear."

At this point of our story we meet the first of those noble women,
heroic and wise, for whom French history is pre-eminent. In the first
half of the fifth century St. Germain of Auxerre and St. Lew of Troyes,
chosen by the prelates of France "for to go and quench an heresy that
was in Great Britain, now called England, came to Nanterre for to be
lodged and harboured and the people came against them for to have their
benison. Among the people, St. Germain, by the enseignements of the Holy
Ghost, espied out the little maid St. Genevieve, and made her come to
him, and kissed her head and demanded her name, and whose daughter she
was, and the people about her said that her name was Genevieve, and her
father Severe, and her mother Geronce, which came unto him, and the holy
man said: Is this child yours? They answered: Yea. Blessed be ye, said
the holy man, when God hath given to you so noble lineage, know ye for
certain that the day of her nativity the angels sang and hallowed great
mystery in heaven with great joy and gladness."

When on the morn she was brought to him again, he saw in her a sign
celestial, commended her to God, and prayed that she would remember him
in her orisons, and on his return to Paris, finding her in the city, he
commended her to its people. Tidings came that "Attila, the felon knight
of Hungary, had enterprised to destroy and waste the parts of France,"
and the burgesses of Paris for great dread they had, sent their goods
into cities more sure. Genevieve caused the good women of the town "to
wake in fastings and orisons, and bade the merchants not to remove their
goods for the city should have none harm." At first the people hardened
their hearts and reviled her, but at St. Germain's prayers they believed
in her, and our Lord "for her love did so much that the tyrants
approached not Paris, thanks and glory to God and honour to the virgin."
At the siege of Paris by Childeric and his Franks, when the people were
wasted by sickness and famine, "the holy virgin, that pity constrained,
went by the Seine to Arcy and Troyes for to go fetch by ship some
victuals. She stilled by her prayers a furious tempest and brought the
ships back laden with wheat." When the city was at length captured, King
Childeric, although a paynim, saved at her intercession the lives of his
prisoners, and one day, to escape her importunate pleadings for the
lives of some criminals, fled out of the gates of Paris and shut them
behind him.

The saint lived to build a church over the tomb of St. Denis and to see
Clovis become a Christian. She died in 509, and was buried on the hill
of Lutetius, which ever since has borne her name.

[Illustration: TOWER OF CLOVIS.]

"Her hope," says the _Golden Legend_, from which we have chiefly drawn
her story, "was nothing in worldly things, but in heavenly, for she
believed in the holy scriptures that saith: Whoso giveth to the poor
liveth for availe. The reward which they receive that give to poor
people, the Holy Ghost had showed to her long tofore, and therefore she
ceased not to weep, to adore and to do works of pity, for she knew
well that she was none other in this world but a pilgrim passing."

The faithful built a little wooden oratory over her tomb, which Clovis
and his wife Clotilde replaced by a great basilica and monastery which
became their burial-place. All that now recalls the church, whose length
the king measured by the distance he could hurl his axe, is the
so-called Tower of Clovis, a thirteenth-century structure in the Rue
Clovis. The golden shrine of the saint,[20] which reached thirty feet
above the high altar, was confiscated by the Revolutionists to pay their
armies, and what remains of her relics is now treasured in the
neighbouring church of St. Etienne du Mont.

The conversion of Clovis is the capital fact of early French history.
His queen Clotilde, niece of the Burgundian king, had long[21]
importuned him to declare himself a Christian. He had consented to the
baptism of their firstborn, but the infant's death within a week seemed
an admonition from his own jealous gods. A second son, however,
recovered from grievous sickness at his wife's prayers and this, aided
perhaps by a shrewd insight into the trend of events, induced him to
lend a more willing ear to the teachers of the new Faith. In 496 the
Franks were at death grapple with their German foes at Tolbiac. Clovis,
when the fight went against him, invoked the God of the Christians and
prayed to be delivered from his enemies. His cry was heard and the
advent of the new Lord of Battles was winged with victory.

There was a stirring scene that Christmas at Rheims, when Clovis with
his two sisters and three thousand of his warriors marched through the
streets, all hung with cloth of many colours, into the cathedral which
was glittering with innumerable candles and perfumed with incense of
divine odour. Clovis was the first to be baptised. "Bend thy neck,
gentle Sicamber," cried St. Rémi. "Adore what thou didst burn: burn what
thou didst adore." When the bishop was reading the Gospel story of the
Passion, the king, thrilled with indignation, cried out: "Ah! had I been
there with my Franks I would have avenged the Christ."

The conversion of Clovis was a triumph for the Church: in her struggle
with the Arian heresy in Gaul, she was now able to enforce the arguments
of the pen by the edge of the sword. The enemies of Clovis were the
enemies of the Church, and as the representative of the Eastern emperor,
she arrayed him, after the defeat of the Arian Goths in the South, in
purple and hailed him Consul and Augustus at Tours. Her scribes are
tender to his memory, for his Christianity was marked by few signs of
grace. He remained the same savage monarch as before, and did not
scruple to affirm his dynasty and extend his empire by treachery and by
the assassination of his kinsmen. To the Franks, Jesus was but a new and
more puissant tribal deity. "Long live the Christ who loves the Franks,"
writes the author of the prologue to the Salic law; and Clothaire I.,
when the pangs of death seized him in his villa at Compiègne, cried out,
"Who is this God of Heaven that thus allows the greatest kings of the
earth to perish?" Nor was their ideal of kingship any loftier. Their
kingdom was not a trust, but a possession to be divided among their
heirs, and the jealousy and strife excited by the repeated partition
among sons, make the history of the Merovingian[22] dynasty a tale of
cruelty and treachery whose every page is stained with blood.


In the ninth century a story was current among the people of France
which admirably symbolises the fate of the dynasty. One night as
Childeric, father of Clovis, lay by the side of Basine, his wife, she
awoke him and said, "Arise, O king, look in the courtyard of thy
dwelling and tell thy servant what thou shalt see." Childeric arose and
saw beasts pass by that seemed like unto lions, unicorns and leopards.
He returned to his wife and told her what he had seen. And Basine said
to him: "Master, go once again and tell thy servant what thou shalt
see." Childeric went forth anew and saw beasts passing by like unto
bears and wolves. Having related this to his wife she bade him go forth
yet a third time. He now saw dogs and other baser animals rending each
other to pieces. Then said Basine to Childeric: "What thou hast seen
with thine eyes shall verily come to pass. A son shall be born to us who
will be a lion for courage: the sons of our sons shall be like unto
leopards and unicorns: they in their turn shall bring forth children
like unto bears and wolves for their voracity. The last of those whom
thou sawest shall come for the end and destruction of the kingdom."

Clovis, in 508, made Paris the official capital of his realm, and at his
death in 511 divided his possessions between his four sons--Thierry,
Clodomir, Childebert, and Clothaire. Clodomir after a short reign met
his death in battle, leaving his children to the guardianship of their
grandmother, Clotilde. One day messengers came to her in the palace of
the Thermæ from Childebert and Clothaire praying that their nephews
might be entrusted to them. Believing they were to be trained in kingly
offices that they might succeed their father in due time, Clotilde
granted their prayer and two of the children were sent to them in the
palace of the Cité. Soon came another messenger, bearing a pair of
shears and a naked sword, and Clotilde was bidden to determine the fate
of her wards and to choose for them between the cloister and the edge of
the sword. An angry exclamation escaped her: "If they are not to be
raised to the throne, I would rather see them dead than shorn." The
messenger waited to hear no more and hastened back to the two kings.
Clothaire then seized the elder of the children and stabbed him under
the armpit. The younger, at the sight of his brother's blood, flung
himself at Childebert's feet, burst into tears, and cried: "Help me,
dear father, let me not die even as my brother." Childebert's heart was
softened and he begged for the child's life. Clothaire's only answer was
a volley of insults and a threat of death if he protected the victim.
Childebert then disintwined the child's tender arms clasping his
knees--he was but six years of age--and pushed him to his brother, who
drove a dagger into his breast. The tutors and servants of the children
were then butchered, and Clothaire rode calmly to his palace, to become
at his brother's death, in 558, sole king of the Franks. The third
child, Clodoald, owing to the devotion of faithful servants escaped, and
was hidden for some time in Provence. Later in life he returned to Paris
and built a monastery at a place still known by his name (St. Cloud)
about two leagues from the city.

Clothaire himself had narrowly escaped assassination when allied with
Thierry during the wars with the Thuringians. Thierry invited his
brother one day to a conference, having previously hidden some armed men
behind the hangings in his tent. But the drapery was too short, and
Clothaire as he entered caught sight of the assassins' feet peeping
through. He retained his arms and his escort. Thierry invented some
fable to explain the interview, embraced his brother and bestowed on him
a heavy silver plate.

The fruits of kingship were bitter to Clothaire. Ere two years were past
his rebellious and adulterous son, Chramm, escaped to Brittany and
raised an army against him. Chramm and his allies were defeated,
himself, his wife and children captured. Clothaire spared none. Chramm
was strangled with a handkerchief, and his wife and children were cast
into a peasant's hut which was set on fire and all perished in the
flames. Next year the king took cold while hunting near Compiègne, fell
sick of a fever and died.

Four out of seven sons had survived him, and again the kingdom was
divided. Charibert, king of Paris, soon died, and yet again a partition
was made among the three survivors. To Siegbert fell Austrasia or
Eastern France as far as the Rhine: to Chilperic, Neustria or Western
France to the borders of Brittany and the Loire: Gontram's lot was
Burgundy. Once more the consuming flames of passion and greed burst
forth, this time fanned by the fierce breath of feminine rivalry.
Siegbert had married Brunehaut, daughter of the Visigoth king of Spain:
Chilperic had espoused her sister, Galowinthe, after repudiating his
first wife, Adowere. When the new queen of Neustria came to her throne
she found herself the rival of Fredegonde, a common servant, with whom
Chilperic had been living. He soon tired of his new wife, a gentle and
pliant creature; Fredegonde regained her supremacy and one morning
Galowinthe was found strangled in bed. The news came to the court of
Austrasia and Brunehaut goaded King Siegbert to avenge her sister's
death. Meanwhile Chilperic had married Fredegonde, who quickly compassed
the murder of her only rival, the repudiated queen, Adowere. At the
intervention of Gontram war was, for a time, averted, and Chilperic, by
the judgment of the whole people, made to compensate Brunehaut by the
restoration of her sister's dowry. But Chilperic soon drew the sword and
civil war again devastated the land. By foreign aid Siegbert captured
and spoiled Paris and compelled a peace. Scarcely, however, had the
victor dismissed his German allies, when Chilperic fell upon him again.
Siegbert now determined to make an end. He entered Paris, and the
Neustrians having accepted him as king, he prepared to crush his enemy
at Tournay. As he set forth, St. Germain, bishop of Paris, seized his
horse's bridle and warned him that the grave he was digging for his
brother would swallow him too. It was of no avail. He marched to Vitry
and was proclaimed king of Neustria. After the proclamation two
messengers desired to see him. As he stood between them listening to
their suit he was stabbed on either side by two long poisoned knives:
the assassins had been sent by Fredegonde. Chilperic now hastened to
Paris and seized the royal treasure. Brunehaut's son, Childebert II., a
child of five, was, however, stolen away from the palace in a basket by
one of Siegbert's faithful servants and proclaimed king by the warriors.

But Fredegonde's tale of blood was not yet complete. She soon learned
that Merovée, one of Chilperic's two sons by Adowere, had married
Brunehaut. Merovée followed the rest of her victims, and Clovis, the
second son, together with a sister of Adowere, next glutted her
vengeance. "One day, after leaving the Synod of Paris," writes St.
Gregory, "I had bidden King Chilperic adieu and had withdrawn conversing
with the bishop of Albi. As we crossed the courtyard of the palace[23]
he said: 'Seest thou not what I perceive above this roof?' I answered,
'I see only a second building which the king has had built.' He asked
again, 'Seest thou naught else?' I weened he spoke in jest and did but
answer--'If thou seest aught else, prithee show it unto me.' Then
uttering a deep sigh, he said: 'I see the sword of God's wrath suspended
over this house.'" Shortly after this conversation Chilperic having
returned from the chase to his royal villa of Chelles, was leaning on
the shoulder of one of his companions to descend from his horse, when
Landeric, servant of Fredegonde, stabbed him to death.

Thirty years were yet to pass before the curtain falls on the acts of
the rival queens, their sons and grandsons, but the heart revolts at the
details of the wars and lusts of these savage potentates. Gregory begins
the fifth book of his _Annals_ by expressing the weariness that falls
upon him when he recalls the manifold civil wars of the Franks.

[Illustration: RUE ST. JACQUES.]

Let us make an end of this part of our story. By her son, Clothaire II.,
Fredegonde continued to dominate Neustria: Brunehaut ruled over
Austrasia and Burgundy through her sons Theodobert II. and Thierry II.
Battle and murder had destroyed Brunehaut's children and her children's
children until none were left to rule over the realms but herself and
the four sons of Thierry II. The nobles, furious at the further tyranny
of a cruel and imperious woman, plotted her ruin, and in 613, when
Brunehaut, sure of victory, marched with two armies against Clothaire
II., she was betrayed to him, her implacable enemy. He reproached her
with the death of ten kings, and set her on a camel for three days to be
mocked and insulted by the army. The old and fallen queen was then tied
to the tail of a horse: the creature was lashed into fury and soon all
that remained of the proud queen was a shapeless mass of carrion. The
traditional place where Brunehaut met her death is still shown at the
corner of the Rue St. Honoré and the Rue de l'Arbre Sec. Thierry's four
sons had already been put to death.

In 597 her rival Fredegonde, at the height of her prosperity, had died
peacefully in bed, full of years, and was buried in the church of St.
Vincent (St. Germain des Prés) by the side of Chilperic, her husband,
and Clothaire II. became sole monarch of the three kingdoms.

Amid all this ruin and desolation, when the four angels of the Euphrates
seem to have been loosed on Gaul, one force was silently at work
knitting up the ravelled ends of the rent fabric of civilisation and
tending a lamp which burned with the promise of ideals nobler far than
those which fed the ancient faith and polity. The Christian bishops were
everywhere filling the empty curule chairs in the cities and provinces
of Gaul. At the end of the sixth century society lived in the Church and
by the Church, and the sees of the archbishops and bishops corresponded
to the Roman administrative divisions. All that was best in the old
Gallo-Roman aristocracy was drawn into her bosom, for she was the one
power making for unity and good government. From one end of the land to
the other the bishops visited and corresponded with each other. They
alone had communion of ideas, common sentiments and common interests.
St. Gregory, bishop of Tours, was the son of a senator; St. Germain of
Auxerre was a man of noble lineage, who had already exercised high
public functions before he was made a bishop. St. Germain of Autun was
ever on the move, now in Brittany, now at Paris, now at Arles, to crush
heresy, to threaten a barbarian potentate, or to sear the conscience
and, if need were, ban the person of a guilty Christian king. The bishop
of Trèves, seeing the horses of some royal Frankish envoys grazing in
the wheat-fields of the peasants, threatened to excommunicate them if
they spoiled the substance of the poor, and himself drove the horses

By the end of the sixth century two hundred and thirty-eight monastic
institutions had been founded in Gaul, and from the sixth to the eighth
century, eighty-three churches were built. The monasteries were so many
nurseries of the industry, knowledge and learning which had not perished
in the barbarian invasions; so many cities of refuge from violence and
rapine, where the few who thirsted after righteousness and burned with
charity might find shelter and protection. "Every letter traced on
paper," said an old abbot, "is a blow to the devil." The ecclesiastical
and monastic schools took the place of the destroyed Roman day-schools,
and whatever modicum of learning the Frankish courts could boast of, was
due to the monks and nuns of their time; for some at least of these
potentates when not absorbed in the gratification of their lusts, their
vengeance, greed, or ambition, were possessed by nobler instincts.

Brunehaut, nurtured in the more cultured atmosphere of the Visigoth
court of Spain, protected commerce and kept the Roman roads[24] in
repair, founded monasteries and corresponded with Gregory the Great, who
commended to her care the safety of his missionaries passing through
her dominions to convert the Angles across the straits.

Chilperic, whom Gregory of Tours brands as the Herod and Nero of his
time, plumed himself on his piety, was concerned at the blasphemies of
the Jews, and forced on them conversion or exile at the sword's point.
He composed Latin hymns, and discussed the nature of the Trinity with
Gregory and the bishop of Albi. He sought to reform the alphabet by the
addition of new letters which corresponded to the guttural sounds in the
Frankish tongue, and ordered that the old alphabet should be erased from
the children's books with pumice stone in all the cities of his kingdom,
and the reformed alphabet substituted for it.

Among the wives of Clothaire I. was the gentle Radegonde, who turned
with horror from the bloody scenes of the palace to live in works of
charity with the poor and suffering, and in holy communion with priests
and bishops. She was at length consecrated a deaconess by St. Medard,
donned the habit of a nun, and founded a convent at Poitiers, where the
poet Fortunatus had himself ordained a priest that he might be near her.
Radegonde's memory is dear to us in England, for it was a small company
of her nuns who settled on the Green Croft by the river bank below
Cambridge, and founded a priory whose noble church and monastic
buildings were subsequently incorporated in Jesus College when the
nunnery was suppressed by Bishop Alcock in 1496.

[Illustration: ST. GERMAIN DES PRÉS.]

[Illustration: ST. JULIEN LE PAUVRE.]

To St. Germain of Autun, made bishop in 555, Paris owes one of her
earliest ecclesiastical foundations. His influence over Childebert, king
of Paris, was great. He obtained an order that those who refused to
destroy pagan idols in their possession were to answer to the king, and
when Childebert and his warriors, seized by an irresistible fighting
impulse, marched into Spain, and were bought off the siege and sack of
Saragossa by the present of the tunic of St. Vincent, he induced the
king to found the abbey and church of St. Vincent (St. Germain des
Prés), to receive the relic. In Childebert's reign was begun on the
site of the present Cathedral of Notre Dame a splendid basilica, so
magnificently decorated that it was compared to Solomon's Temple for the
beauty and the delicacy of its art. During this great outburst of zeal
and devotion another monastery was established and dedicated to St.
Vincent, which subsequently became associated with the name of the
earlier St. Germain of Auxerre (l'Auxerrois).

A curious episode is found in Gregory's _Chronicle_, which is
characteristic of the times, and proves that a monastery and church of
St. Julien le Pauvre were already in existence. An impostor, claiming to
have the relics of St. Vincent and St. Felix, came to Paris, but refused
to deposit them with the bishop for verification. He was arrested and
searched, and the so-called relics were found to consist of mole's
teeth, the bones of mice, some bear's claws and other rubbish. They were
flung into the Seine and the impostor was put in prison. Gregory, who
was lodging in the monastery of St. Julien le Pauvre, went into the
church shortly after midnight to say matins, and found the creature, who
had escaped from the bishop's prison, dead drunk on the pavement. He had
him dragged away into a corner, but so intolerable was the stench that
the pavement was purified with water and sweet smelling herbs. When the
bishops, who were at Paris for a synod, met at dinner the next day, the
impostor was identified as a fugitive slave of the bishop of Tarbes.

At the end of the sixth century we bid adieu to St. Gregory of Tours,
gentlest of annalists. Courageous and independent before kings, he had a
pitying heart for the poor and suffering, and bewails the loss of many
sweet little babes of Christ, during the plague of 580, whom he had
warmed at his breast, carried in his arms, and fed tenderly with his

Clothaire II. was a pious king in his way, interested in letters, a
munificent patron of the Church, but overfond of the chase and
inheriting the savage instincts of his race in dealing with enemies.
After quelling a Saxon revolt he is said to have killed all the warriors
whose stature exceeded the length of his sword. Dagobert the Great, his
son, who succeeded him in 628, was the most enlightened and mightiest of
the Merovingian kings. He and his favourite minister, St. Eloy,
goldsmith and bishop (founder of the convent which long bore his name),
are enshrined in the hearts of the people in many a song and
ballad:--St. Eloy, with his good humour, his happy countenance, his
eloquence, gentleness, modesty, wit, and wide charity; Dagobert, the
Solomon of the Franks, the terror of the oppressor, the darling of the
poor. The great king was fond of Paris and established himself there
when not scouring his kingdom to administer justice or to crush his
enemies. He was the second founder of the monastery of St. Denis, which
he rebuilt and endowed, and to which he gave much importance by the
establishment there of a great fair, which soon drew merchants from all
parts of Europe. He was a patron of the arts and employed St. Eloy to
make reliquaries[25] for the churches in Paris of such richness and
beauty that they were admired of the whole of France.

Chaos and misery followed the brilliant reign of Dagobert. In half a
century his race had faded into the feeble _rois fainéants_, degenerate
by precocious debauchery, some of whom were fathers at fourteen or
fifteen years of age and in their graves before they were thirty.[26]

In an age when human passions are untamed, the one unpardonable vice in
a king is weakness, and soon the incapable, impotent and irresolute
Merovingians were thrust aside by a more puissant race.



At the head of the establishment of every Merovingian chief was his
mayor, or major domus, who administered his domains and acted as deputy
when his master was non-resident or away at the wars. A similar official
of the king's household, the mayor of the palace, likewise presided over
the royal council and tribunal in the absence or during the minority of
the king.

In 622, when Dagobert became king of Austrasia, one Pepin of Landen,
known as Pepin le Vieux, was made mayor of the palace and, associated
with St. Arnoulf, bishop of Metz, was appointed ward of the young king.
A marriage between Pepin's daughter and the son of St. Arnoulf resulted
in the birth of Pepin of Heristal, who in the anarchy that followed on
Dagobert's death succeeded in crushing Ebroin,[27] the king-maker, mayor
of the palace of Neustria. Pepin then seized the royal treasury,
installed Thierry III. as king of the Franks and himself as mayor of the
palace. Pepin's successor, for the office of mayor had now become
hereditary, was Charles Martel, his son by Alfaide, a fair and noble
concubine. He it was, who by his valour and address saved Western Europe
from the Mussulman at Tours, and made glorious his name in Christendom.
At his death, when crossing the Alps to defend the Pope against the
Arian Lombards, the leadership of the Franks passed to his sons
Carloman and Pepin the Short, of whom the latter, on his brother's
retirement to the cloister at the famous Italian Benedictine monastery
at Monte Cassino, held undivided sway.

Charles Martel, although buried with the Frankish kings at St. Denis,
was content with the title of Duke of the Franks, and hesitated to
proclaim himself king. He, like the other mayors of the palace, ruled
through feeble and pensioned puppets when they did not contemptuously
leave the throne vacant. In 751 Pepin sent two prelates to sound Pope
Zacchary, who, being hard pressed by the Lombards, lent a willing ear to
their suit, agreed that he who was king in fact should be made so in
name, and authorised Pepin to assume the title of king. Chilperic III.,
like a discarded toy, was relegated to a monastery at St. Omer, and
Pepin the Short anointed at Soissons by St. Boniface, bishop of Mayence,
from that sacred "ampul full of chrism" which an angel of Paradise had
brought to St. Rémi wherewith to anoint Clovis at Rheims. In the year
754 Stephen III., the first pope who had honoured Paris by his presence,
came to ask the reward of his predecessor's favour and was lodged at St.
Denis. There he anointed Pepin anew, with his sons Charles and Carloman,
and compelled the Frankish chieftains, under pain of excommunication, to
swear allegiance to them and their descendants.

The city of Lutetia had much changed since the messengers of Pope
Fabianus entered five centuries before. On that southern hill where
formerly stood the Roman camp and cemetery were now the great basilica
and abbey of St. Genevieve. The amphitheatre and probably much of the
palace of the Cæsars were in ruins, all stripped of their marbles to
adorn the new Christian churches. Extensive abbatial buildings and a
church resplendent with marble and gold, on the west, were dedicated to
St. Vincent, and were henceforth to be known as St. Germain of the
Meadows (_des Prés_), for the saint's body had been translated from the
chapel of St. Symphorien in the vestibule to the high altar of the abbey
church a few weeks before the pope's arrival at St. Denis. The Cité[28]
was still held within the decayed Roman walls, and a wooden bridge, the
Petit Pont, crossed the south arm of the Seine. On the site of the old
pagan temple to Jupiter by the market-place stood a new and magnificent
basilica to Our Lady. The devotion of the _Nautæ_ had been transferred
from Apollo to St. Nicholas, patron of shipmen, and Mercury had given
place to St. Michael, and to each of those saints oratories were
erected. Other churches and oratories adorned the island, dedicated to
St. Stephen, St. Gervais, and St. Denis of the Prison (_de la chartre_),
built where the saint was imprisoned by the north wall and where,
abandoned by his followers, he was visited by his divine Lord, who
Himself administered the sacred Host. A nunnery dedicated to St. Eloy,
where three hundred pious nuns diffused the odour of Jesus Christ
through the whole city, occupied a large site opposite the west front of
Notre Dame. Near by stood a hospital, founded and endowed a century
before by St. Landry, bishop of Paris, for the sick poor, which soon
became known as the Hostel of God (_Hôtel Dieu_). The old Roman palace
and basilica had been transformed into the official residence and
tribunal of justice of the Frankish kings. On the south bank stood the
church and monastery of St. Julien le Pauvre. A new Frankish city was
growing on the north bank, bounded on the west by the abbey of St.
Vincent le Rond, later known as St. Germain l'Auxerrois, and on the east
by the abbey of St. Lawrence. Houses clustered around the four great
monasteries, and suburbs were in course of formation. The Cité was still
largely inhabited by opulent merchants of Gallo-Roman descent, who were
seen riding along the streets in richly-decorated chariots drawn by

[Illustration: ST. JULIEN LE PAUVRE.]

King Pepin, after proving himself a valiant champion of orthodoxy by
defeating the Arian Lombards, and bestowing Ravenna on the pope in
perpetual sovereignty, died at Paris in 768. The kingdom of France was
then shared by his sons, Charles and Carloman, and on the latter's death
in 771 Charles, surnamed the Great, began his tremendous career during
which the interest of the French Monarchy shifts from Paris to
Aix-la-Chapelle. Charlemagne during his long reign of nearly half a
century was too preoccupied with his noble but ineffectual purpose of
cementing by blood and iron the warring races of Europe into a united
_populus Christianus_, and establishing, under the dual lordship of
emperor and pope, a city of God on earth, to give much attention to
Paris. He did, however, spend a few Christmases there, and was present
at the dedication of the new church of St. Denis, completed in 775 under
Abbot Fulrad. It was a typical Frankish prince whom the Parisians saw
enthroned at St. Denis. He had the abundant fair hair, shaven chin and
long moustache we see in the traditional pictures of Clovis. Above
middle height, with bright piercing eyes and short neck, he impressed
all by the majesty of his bearing in spite of a rather shrill and feeble
voice and a certain asymmetrical rotundity below the belt. Abbot Fulrad
was a sturdy prince and for long disputed the possession of some lands
at Plessis with the bishop of Paris. The decision of the case is
characteristic of the times. Two champions were deputed to act for the
litigants, and met before the Count of Paris[29] in the king's chapel of
St. Nicholas in the Palace of the Cité, and a solemn judgment by the
Cross was held. While the royal chaplain recited psalms and prayers, the
two champions stood forth and held their arms outstretched in the form
of a cross. In this trial of endurance the bishop's deputy was the first
to succumb. His fainting arms drooped and the abbot won his cause.

Paris grew but slowly under the Frankish kings. They lived ill at ease
within city walls. Children of the fields and the forest, whose delight
was in the chase or in war, they were glad to escape from Paris to their
villas at Chelles or Compiègne.

But the civil power of the Church grew apace. In the early sixth century
one-third of the land of France was held and administered by the
monasteries. The abbots of St. Germain des Prés held possession of
nearly 90,000 acres of land, mostly arable, in various provinces of
France. Their annual revenue amounted to about £24,000 of our money:
they ruled over more than 10,000 serfs. From a list of the lands held in
the ninth century by the abbey of St. Pierre des Fossés,[30] founded by
Clovis II. about eight miles from Paris, and published in the _Trésor
des pièces rares ou inédites_, we are able to form some idea of the vast
extent of monastic possessions in the city. The names of the various
properties whose boundaries touch those of the abbey lands are given.
Private owners are mentioned only four times, whereas to ecclesiastical
and monastic domains there are no less than ninety references.

These monastic settlements were veritable garden cities, where most of
our modern fruits, flowers and vegetables were cultivated; where flocks
and herds were bred and all kinds of poultry, including pheasants and
peacocks, reared. Guilds of craftsmen worked and flourished; markets
were held generally on saints' days, and pilgrimages were fostered.
Charlemagne was an honest coiner and a protector of foreign traders; he
was tolerant of the Jews, the only capitalists of the time, and under
him Paris became the "market of the peoples," and Venetian and Syrian
merchants sought her shores.

In Gallo-Roman days few were the churches outside the cities, but in the
great emperor's time every villa[31] is said to have had its chapel or
oratory served by a priest. Charlemagne was a zealous patron of such
learning as the epoch afforded, and sought out scholars in every land.
English, Irish, Scotch, Italian, Goth and Bavarian--all were welcomed.
The English scholar Alcuin, master of the Cloister School at York,
became his chief adviser and tutor. He would have every child in his
empire to know at least his paternoster. Every abbot on election was
required to endow the monastery with some books. The choice of authors
was not a wide one: the Old and New Testaments; the writings of the
Fathers, especially St. Augustine, the emperor's favourite author;
Josephus; the works of Bede; some Latin authors, chiefly Virgil; some
scraps of Plato translated into Latin--a somewhat exiguous and austere
library, but one which reared a noble and valiant line of scholars and
statesmen to rule the minds and bridle the savage lusts of the coming
generations of men. Under Irish and Anglo-Saxon influences the cramped,
minute script of the Merovingian scribes grew in beauty and lucidity:
gold and silver and colour illuminated the pages of their books. The
golden age of the Roman peace seemed dawning again in a new _Imperium

Towards the end of his reign the old emperor was dining with his court
in a seaport town in the south of France, when news came that some
strange, black, piratical craft had dared to attack the harbour. They
were soon scattered, but the emperor was seen to rise from the table and
go to a window, where he stood gazing fixedly at the retreating pirates.
Tears trickled down his cheeks and none dared to approach him. At length
he turned and said: "Know ye, my faithful servants, wherefore I weep
thus bitterly? I fear not these wretched pirates, but I am afflicted
that they should dare to approach these shores, and sorely do grieve
when I foresee what evil they will work on my sons and on my people."
His courtiers deemed they were Breton or Saracen pirates, but the
emperor knew better. They were the terrible Northmen, soon to prove a
bloodier scourge to Gaul than Hun or Goth or Saracen; and to meet them
Charlemagne left an empire distracted by civil war and a nerveless,
feeble prince, Louis the Pious, Louis the Forgiving, fitter for the
hermit's cell than for the throne and sword of an emperor.

In 841 the black boats of the sea-rovers for the first time entered the
Seine, and burnt Rouen and Fontenelle. In 845 a fleet of one hundred and
twenty vessels swept up its higher waters and on Easter Eve captured,
plundered and burnt Paris, sacked its monasteries and churches and
butchered their monks and priests. The futile Emperor Charles the Bald
bought them off at St. Denis with seven thousand livres of silver, and
they went back to their Scandinavian homes gorged with plunder--only to
return year by year, increased in numbers and ferocity. Words cannot
picture the terror of the citizens and monks when the dread squadrons,
with the monstrous dragons carved on their prows, their great sails and
three-fold serried ranks of men-of-prey, were sighted. Everyone left his
home and sought refuge in flight. The monks hurried off with the bodies
of the saints, the relics and treasures of the sanctuary, to hide them
in far-away cities. In 852 Charles the Bald's soldiers refused to fight,
and for two hundred and eighty-seven days the pirates ravaged the valley
of the Seine at their will. Never within memory or tradition were such
things known. Rouen, Bayeux, Beauvais, Paris, Meaux, Melun, Chartres,
Evreux, were devastated. The islands of the Seine were whitened by the
bones of the victims. Similar horrors were wrought along the other
rivers of France. Whole districts reverted to paganism. In 858 a body of
the freebooters settled on the island of Oissel, below Rouen, and issued
forth _en excursion_ to spoil and slay and burn at their pleasure. They
made of the once rich city of Paris a cinder heap; the cathedrals of St.
Germain des Prés and of St. Denis alone escaped at the cost of immense
bribes. Charles ordered two fortresses to be built for the defence of
the approaches to the bridges, and continued his feeble policy of paying

[Illustration: PORT DES ORMES.]

In 866 Robert the Strong, Count of Paris, had won the title of the
Maccabeus of France, by daring to stand against the fury of the Northmen
and to defeat them; but having in the heat of battle with the terrible
Hastings taken off his cuirass, he was killed. In 876 began a second
period of raids of even greater ferocity under the Norwegian Rollo the
Gangr[32] (the walker), a colossus so huge that no horse could be found
to bear him. In 884 the whole Christian people seemed doomed to perish.
Flourishing cities and monasteries became heaps of smoking ruins; along
the roads lay the bodies of priests and laymen, noble and peasant,
freeman and serf, women and children and babes at the breast to be
devoured of wolves and vultures. The very sanctuaries[33] were become
the dens of wild beasts, the haunt of serpents and creeping things.
Packs of wolves, three hundred strong, harried Aquitaine.

In 885 a great league of pirates--Danes, Normans, Saxons, Britons and
renegade French--on their way to ravage the rich cities of Burgundy drew
up before Paris; and their leader, Siegfroy, demanded passage to the
higher waters. For Paris had now been put in a state of defence, the
Roman walls repaired, the bridges fortified and protected by towers on
the north and south banks. Bishop Gozlin, in whom great learning was
wedded to incomparable fortitude, defied the pirates, warning them that
the citizens were determined to resist and to hold Paris for a bulwark
to the other cities of France.

Paris, forsaken by her kings and emperors for more than a century,
scarred and bled by three sieges, was now to become a beacon of hope to
the wretched land of France. Of the fourth and most terrible of the
Norman sieges of Paris, we have fuller record. A certain monk of St.
Germain des Prés, Abbo by name, had endured the siege and was one day
sitting in his cell reading his Virgil. Desiring to exercise his Latin,
and give an example to other cities, he determined to sing of a great
siege with happier issue than that of Troy.[34] Abbo saw the black hulls
and horrid prows of the pirates' boats as they turned the arm of the
Seine below Paris, seven hundred strong vessels, and many more of
lighter build. For two leagues and a half the very waters of the Seine
were covered with them, and men asked into what mysterious caves the
river had retreated. On November 26th, the attack began at the
unfinished tower on the north bank. Three leaders stand eminent among
the defenders of the city. Bishop Gozlin, the great warrior priest; his
nephew, Abbot Ebles of St. Denis; and Count Eudes (Hugh) of Paris, son
of Robert the Strong. The air is darkened with javelins and arrows. The
abbot with one shaft spits seven of the besiegers, and mockingly bids
their fellows take them to the kitchen to be cooked. Bishop Gozlin is
wounded by a javelin early in the attack. On the morrow, reinforced by
fresh troops, the assault is renewed, stones are hurled, arrows whistle:
the air is filled with groans and cries. The defenders pour down boiling
oil and melted wax and pitch. The hair of some of the Normans takes
fire: they burn and the Parisians shout--"Jump into the Seine to cool
yourselves." One well-aimed millstone, says Abbo, sends the souls of six
to hell. The baffled Northmen retire, entrench a camp at St. Germain
l'Auxerrois, and prepare rams and other siege artillery.

[Illustration: ST. GERMAIN L'AUXERROIS.]

Abbo now pauses to bewail the state of France: no lord to rule her,
everywhere devastation wrought by fire and sword, God's people paralysed
at the advancing phalanx of death, Paris alone tranquil, erect and
steadfast in the midst of all their thunderbolts, _polis ut regina
micans omnes super urbes_, like a queenly city resplendent above all
towns. The second attack begins with redoubled fury. After battering the
walls of the north tower, monstrous machines on sixteen wheels are
advanced and the besiegers strive to fill the fosse. Trees, shrubs,
slaughtered cattle, wounded horses, the very captives slain before the
eyes of the besieged, are cast in to fill the void. Bishop Gozlin brings
down a Norman chieftain by a well-aimed arrow: his body, too, is flung
into the fosse. The enemy cover the plain with their swords and the
river with their bucklers. Fireships are loosed against the bridge. In
the city women fly to the sanctuaries: they roll their hair in the dust,
beat their breasts and rend their faces. They call on St. Germain:
"Blessed St. Germain, succour thy servants." The fighters on the walls
take up the cry. Bishop Gozlin invokes the Virgin, Mother of the
Redeemer, Star of the Sea, bright above all other stars, to save them
from the cruel Danes.

On February 6th, 886, a sudden flood sweeps away the Petit Pont, and its
tower, with twelve defenders, is isolated. With shouts of triumph the
Northmen cross the river and surround it. The twelve refuse to yield,
and fire is brought. The warriors (a touching detail) fearing lest their
falcons be stifled, cut them loose. There is but one vessel wherewith to
quench the flames and that soon drops from their hands. The little band
rush forth, place themselves against the ruins of the bridge, and
prepare to sell their lives dearly--terrible against terrible foes. The
walls of the city are lined with their kinsmen and friends impotent to
help. The enemies of God, doomed one day to dine at Pluto's cauldron,
press upon them. They fight till Phoebus sinks to the depths of the
sea, so great is the courage of despair. They are promised their lives
if they will yield, are disarmed, then treacherously slain, and their
souls fly to heaven. But one, Hervé, of noble bearing and of great
beauty, deemed a prince, is spared for ransom. With thunderous voice he
refuses to bargain his life for gold, falls unarmed on his foes and is
cut to pieces. "These things," writes Monk Abbo, "I saw with mine eyes."
He gives the names of the heroic twelve who went to receive the palm of
martyrdom. They were exemplars to France and helped to save her by their
desperate courage and noble self-sacrifice. Their names are inscribed on
a tablet on the wing of the Hôtel Dieu in the Place au Petit Pont:
Ermenfroi, Hervé, Herland, Ouacre, Hervi, Arnaud, Seuil, Jobert, Hardre,
Guy, Aimard, Gossouin.

A temporary relief is afforded by the arrival of Henry of Saxony, sent
with supplies by the emperor. Count Eudes sallies forth to meet him, and
in his ardent courage outstrips his men, is surrounded and almost slain.
The little city is revictualled. Henry returns whence he came, and again
the Parisians are left to themselves. On the sixth of April Bishop
Gozlin, their shield, their two-edged axe, whose shaft and bow were
terrible, passes to the Lord. On May 12th, Eudes steals away to implore
further help from the emperor, and as soon as he sees the imperialists
on the march returns and cuts his way into Paris, to share the terrors
of the siege. Henry the Saxon again appears, but is ambushed and slain
and his army melts away. Yet again Paris is abandoned by her emperor and
seeks help of heaven. For the waters are low, the besiegers are able to
get footing on the island, they set fire to the gates and attack the
walls. The body of St. Genevieve is borne about the city, and at night
the ghostly figure of St. Germain is seen by the sentinels to pass along
the ramparts, sprinkling them with holy water and promising salvation.
Charles the Fat, the Lord's anointed, at length appears with a multitude
of a hundred tongues and encamps on Montmartre. While the Parisians are
preparing to second him in crushing their foes, they learn that the
cowardly emperor has bought them off with a bribe and permission to
winter in Burgundy, and for the first time they ravage that opulent
province. Next year, as Gozlin's successor, Bishop Antheric, was sitting
at table with Abbot Ebles, a fearful messenger brought news that the
_acephali_[35] were again in sight. Forgetting the repast, the two
churchmen seized their weapons, called the city to arms, hastened to the
ramparts, and the abbot slew their pilot with a well-aimed shaft. The
Normans are terrified, and at length a treaty is made with their
leaders, who promised not to ravage the Marne and some even entered
Paris. But the ill-disciplined hordes were hard to hold in and bands of
brigands, as soon as the ramparts were passed, began to plunder and slew
a score of Christian men. The Parisians in their indignation sought out
and--_Evax!_ Hurrah!--found five hundred Normans in the city and slew
them. But the bishop protected those that took refuge in his palace,
instead of killing them as he ought to have done--_potius concidere
debens_. For a time Paris had respite. Cowardly Charles the Fat was
deposed, and in 887 Count Eudes was acclaimed king of France after his
return from Aquitaine, whose duke he had brought to subjection. He
counselled a gathering of all the peoples near Paris to make common
cause against the Normans. Abbo saw the proud Franks march in with heads
erect, the skilful and polished Aquitaines, the Burgundians too prone to
flight. But nothing came of it.

At the extreme north-east of Paris the Rue du Crimée leads to a group of
once barren hills, part of which is now made into the Park of the Buttes
Chaumont. Here, by the Mount of the Falcon (Montfaucon[36]) in 892 King
Eudes fell upon an army of Northmen, who had come against Paris, and
utterly routed them. Antheric, the noble pastor, with his virgin-like
face, led three hundred footmen into the fight and slew six hundred of
the _acephali_. But Abbo's muse now fails him. Eudes, noble Eudes, is no
more worthy of his office, and Christ's sheep are perishing. Where is
the ancient prowess of France? Three vices are working her destruction:
pride, the sinful charms of Venus (_foeda venustas veneris_) and love
of sumptuous garments. Her people are arrayed in purple vesture, and
wear cloaks of gold; their loins are cinctured with girdles rich with
precious stones. Monk Abbo wearies not of singing, but the deeds of
noble Eudes are wanting. All the poet craves is another victory to
rejoice Heaven; another defeat of the black host of the enemy.

But the noble Eudes was now a king with rebellious vassals. Paris was
never captured again, but the _acephali_ were devouring the land. The
grim spectres of Famine and Plague made a charnel-house of whole regions
of France, while Eudes was fighting the Count of Flanders, a rival king,
and the ineffectual emperor, Charles the Simple. He it was who after
Eudes' death, by the treaty of St. Claire-sur-Epte in 902, surrendered
to the barbarians the fair province, subsequently to be known as
Normandy. The new prayer in the Litany, "From the fury of the Northmen,
good Lord deliver us," was heard. The dread name of Rollo now vanishes
from history to live again in song, and under the title of Robert,
assumed from his god-father, he reappears to win a dukedom and a king's
daughter. The Normans are broken in to Christianity, law and order;
their land becomes one of the most civilized regions of France; the
fiercest of church levellers are known as the greatest of church
builders in Christendom. They gave their name to a style of Christian
architecture in Europe and a line of kings to England,[37] Naples and

[Illustration: L'INSTITUT DE FRANCE.]

The new empire of Charlemagne had endured less than three generations;
from its wreck were formed the seven kingdoms of France, Navarre, the
two Burgundies, Lorraine, Italy and Germany. The people of France never
forgot the lesson of the dark century of the invasions. A subtle change
had been operating. The empire had decomposed into kingdoms; the
kingdoms were segregating into lordships. Men in their need were
attracted to the few strong and dominant lords whose courage and
resource afforded them a rallying point and shelter against
disintegrating forces: the poor and defenceless huddled for protection
to the seigneurs of strongholds which had withstood the floods of
barbarians that were devastating the land. The seeds of feudalism were
sown in the long winter of the Norman terror.



From 936 to the coronation of Hugh Capet at Noyon in 987, the
Carlovingians exercised a slowly decaying power. The real rulers of
France were Hugh the Tall and Hugh Capet,[38] grandson and
great-grandson of Robert the Strong. Lay abbots of St. Martin of Tours,
St. Denis, and St. Germain, Counts of Paris and Dukes of France, they
pursued the policy of the mayors of the palace in Merovingian times,
accepting the nominal kingship of the degenerate Carlovingians--Louis
from overseas, Lothaire, and Louis the Lazy--until the time was ripe to
pick up the fallen sceptre. They founded a new line of kings of France
which stretches onward through history for a thousand years until the
guillotine of the Revolution cut it in twain. It is Hugh Capet whom
Dante, following a legend of his time, calls the son of a butcher of
Paris, and whom he hears among the weeping souls cleaving to the dust
and purging their avarice in the fifth cornice of Purgatory.

Their patrimony was a small one--the provinces of the Isle de France, La
Brie, La Beauce, Beauvais and Valois; but their sway extended over the
land of the Langue d'oil, with its strenuous northern life, _le doux
royaume de la France_, the sweet realm of France, cradle of the great
French Monarchy and home of art, learning and chivalry. The globe of the
earth, symbol of universal empire, gives way to the hand of justice as
the emblem of kingship. They were, it is true, little more than
seigneurs over other seigneurs, some of whom were almost as powerful as
they; but that little, the drop of holy chrism by which they were
consecrated of the Church, contained within it a potency of future
grandeur. They were the Lord's anointed, supported by the Lord's Vicar
on earth: to disobey them was to disobey God. Tribal sovereignty had now
given way to territorial sovereignty. Feudal lords and abbots were
supreme within their own domains. The people, long forsaken by their
emperors, had in their turn forsaken them. In order "not to be at the
mercy of all the great ones they surrendered themselves to one of the
great ones" and in exchange for protection gave troth and service.
Cities, churches and monasteries now assumed a new aspect. Paris had
demonstrated the value of a walled city, for the dread Rollo himself had
three times assaulted it in vain. During the latter part of the Norman
terror, from all parts of North France, monks and nuns and priests had
brought their holy relics within its walls as to a city of refuge. Gone
were the lines of villas from Gallo-Roman times extending freely into
the country. Fortifications were everywhere raised around the
dwelling-places of men. The ample spaces within cities were soon to give
place to crowded houses and narrow streets. The might of the
archbishops, bishops and abbots increased: they sat in the councils of
kings and dominated the administration of justice; the moral, social and
political life of the country centred around them. Armed with the sword
and the cross they held almost absolute sway over their little
republics; coined money, levied taxes, disposed of small armies and went
to the chase in almost regal state. The land bristled with castles and
fortified towns and abbeys, and was parcelled out into territories of
varying extent, from great duchies equal to a dozen modern departments,
to the small domain just enough to maintain a single knight.

The advent of the year 1000 was regarded with universal terror in
Christendom. A fear, based on a supposed apocalyptic prophecy that the
end of the world was at hand, paralysed all political and social life.
Churches were too small to contain the immense throngs of fearful
penitents: legacies and donations from conscience-stricken worshippers
poured wealth into their treasuries. But once the awe-inspiring night of
the vernal equinox that began the year 1000 had passed, and the bright
March sun rose again on the fair earth, unconsumed by the wrath of God,
the old world "seemed to thrill with new life; the earth cast off her
out-worn garments and clothed herself in a rich and white vesture of new
churches." Everywhere in Europe, and especially in France, men strove in
emulation to build the finest temples to God. The wooden roofs of the
Merovingian and Carlovingian basilicas had ill withstood the ravage of
war and fire. Stone took the place of wood, the heavy thrust of the roof
led to increased mural strength, walls were buttressed, columns
thickened. Massive towers of defence, at first round, then polygonal,
then square, flanked the west fronts, veritable keeps, where the sacred
vessels and relics might be preserved and defended in case of attack.
Soon spaces are clamant for decoration, the stone soars into the beauty
of Gothic vaulting and tracery, "the solid and lofty shafts ascend and
press onward in agile files, and in the sacred gloom are like unto an
army of giants that meditate war with invisible powers."[39]

The Capets are more intimately associated with the growth of Paris than
any of the earlier dynasties, and at no period in French history is the
ecclesiastical expansion more marked. Under the long reign of Hugh's
son, King Robert the Pious, no less than fourteen monasteries and seven
churches were built or rebuilt in or around the city. A new and
magnificent palace and hall of Justice, with its royal chapel dedicated
to St. Nicholas, rose on the site of the old Roman basilica and palace
in the Cité. The king was no less charitable than pious. Troops of the
poor and afflicted followed him when he went abroad, and he fed a
thousand daily at his table. But notwithstanding his munificent piety,
he was early made to feel the power of the Church. His union with Queen
Bertha, a cousin of the fourth degree, whom he had married a year before
his accession, was condemned by the pope as incestuous, and he was
summoned to repudiate her. Robert, who loved his wife dearly, resisted
the papal authority, and excommunication and interdict followed.[40]
Everyone fled from him; only the servants are said to have remained, who
purged with fire all the vessels which were contaminated by the guilty
couple's touch. The misery of his people at length subdued the king's
spirit, and he cast off his faithful and beloved queen.

The beautiful and imperious Constance of Aquitaine, her successor,
proved a penitential infliction second only in severity to the anathemas
of the Church. Troops of vain and frivolous troubadours from her
southern home, in all kinds of foreign and fantastic costumes, invaded
the court and shocked the austere piety of the king. He perceived the
corrupting influence on the simple manners of the Franks of their
licentious songs, lascivious music and dissolute lives, but was
powerless to dismiss them. The tyrannous temper of his new consort
became the torment of his life. He was forced even to conceal his acts
of charity. One day, on returning from prayers, he perceived that his
lance by the queen's orders had been adorned with richly chased silver.
He looked around his palace and was not long in finding a poor, tattered
wretch whom he ordered to search for a tool, and the pair locked
themselves in a room. The silver was soon stripped from the lance and
the king hastily thrust it into the beggar's wallet and bade him escape
before the queen discovered the loss. The poor whom he admitted to his
table, despite the angry protests of the queen, at times ill repaid his
charity. On one occasion a tassel of gold was cut from his robe, and on
the thief being discovered the king simply remarked: "Well, perhaps he
has greater need of it than I, may God bless its service to him." The
very fringe was sometimes stripped from his cloak as he walked abroad,
but he never could be induced to punish any of these poor spoilers of
his person. There is, however, an obverse to this ardent piety and noble
enthusiasm:--the merciless persecution and spoliation of the Jews and
the first executions of heretics[41] recorded in France.

In 1022 two priests, one of whom had been the queen's confessor, and
eleven laymen were condemned to be burnt at the stake at Orleans for
heresy. The king spent nine hours wrestling with them in prayer and
argument, but in vain. As the unhappy wretches were being led to
execution, Constance leaned forward, savagely struck at her old
confessor and gouged out one of his eyes. She was applauded for her

The economic condition of the people was far from satisfactory. Famine
and pestilence claimed their victims with appalling frequency, and
between 970 and 1040, forty-eight famines and plagues are known to
historians; that of 1033 is recounted by the chronicler, Raoul Glaber,
with details so ghastly that the heart sickens and the hand faints at
their transcription. Slavery existed everywhere: it was regarded as an
integral part of the divine order of things. The Church aimed at
alleviating the lot of the slave, not at abolishing slavery. At a
division of serfs, held in common between the priors of two abbeys in
1087, the children were shared, male and female, without any reference
to their parents. Archbishops fulminated against serfs who tried to
escape from their lords, quoting the words of the apostle: "Serfs be
subject in all things to your masters." A serf was valued at so much
money, like a horse or an ox. The serfs of the Church at Paris were sent
to the law courts to give evidence for their bishop or prior, or to do
battle for them in the event of a judicial duel. The freemen in the
eleventh century began to rebel against fighting with a despised serf,
and refused the duel, whereupon early in the next century the king and
his court decided that the serfs might lawfully testify and fight
against freemen, and whoso refused the trial by battle should lose his
suit and suffer excommunication. The prelates exchanged serfs, used them
as substitutes in times of war, allowed them to marry outside their
church or abbey only by special permission and on condition that all
children were equally divided between the two proprietors. If a female
serf married a freeman he and their children became serfs. Serfs were
only permitted to make a will by consent of their master; every favour
was paid for and liberty bought at a great price. Whole _bourgades_ were
often in a state of serfdom. Merchants even and artizans in towns owed
part of their produce to the seigneur. In the eleventh century burgesses
as well as serfs and Jews were given to churches, exchanged, sold or
left in wills by their seigneurs. The story of mediæval France is the
story of the efforts of serf and burgess to win their economic
freedom[42] and of her kings to tame the insolence of disobedient
vassals and to make their shadowy kingship a real thing. And the story
of mediæval France is closed only by the great Revolution.

[Illustration: HOTEL GEROUILHAC]

The declining years of King Robert were embittered by the impiety of
rebellious sons, who were reduced to submission only at the price of a
protracted and bloody campaign in Burgundy. The broken-hearted father
did not long survive his victory. He died in his palace at Melun in
1031, and the benisons and lamentations of the poor and lowly winged his
spirit to its rest. If we may believe some writers, pious King Robert's
memory is enshrined in the hymnology of the Church, which he enriched
with some beautiful compositions: he was often seen to enter St. Denis
in regal habit to lead the choir at matins, and would sometimes
challenge the monks to a singing contest; once, it is said, when
importuned by his queen to immortalise her name in song, he began, "O
Constantia Martyrum!" The delighted Constance heard no further and was

Scarcely had the grave closed over the dead king at St. Denis when
Constance plotted with some of the nobles to place Robert, her youngest
and favourite son, on the throne in place of Henry, the rightful heir,
who fled to Normandy to implore the aid of Duke Robert. The cultivation
of the arts of peace had not enfeebled the fighting powers of the
Normans. Robert fell upon the queen's supporters with reckless[43]
bravery and crushed them in three decisive battles. Henry gained his
crown but at the cost of a big slice of territory which advanced the
Norman boundary to within twenty leagues of Paris. The queen survived
her humiliation but a short time, and her death at Melun in 1032 and
Henry's generosity to his enemies gave peace to the kingdom.

In 1053, towards the end of Henry's almost unchronicled reign, an
alarming rumour came to Paris. The priests of St. Ermeran at Ratisbon
claimed to have possession of the body of St. Denis, which they alleged
had been stolen from the abbey in 892 by one Gisalbert. The loss of a
province would not have evoked livelier emotion, and Henry at once took
measures to convince France and Christendom that the true body was still
at St. Denis. Before an immense concourse of bishops, abbots, princes
and people, presided over by the king, his brother and the archbishops
of Rheims and of Canterbury, the remains of St. Denis and his two
companions were solemnly drawn out of the silver coffers in which they
had been placed, by Dagobert, together with a nail from the cross and
part of the crown of thorns, all locked with two keys in a kind of
cupboard richly adorned with gold and precious stones, and preserved in
a vault under the high altar. After having been borne in procession they
were exposed on the high altar for fifteen days and then restored to
their resting-place. The stiff-necked priests of Ratisbon, fortified
with a papal bull of 1052, still maintained their claim to the
possession of the body, but no diminution was experienced in the
devotion either of the French peoples or of strangers of all nations to
the relics at St. Denis.

The chief architectural event of Henry's reign at Paris was the
rebuilding on a more magnificent scale of the Merovingian church and
abbey of St. Martin in the Fields (des Champs), whose blackened walls
and desolate lands were eloquent of the Norman terror. The buildings
stood outside Paris about a mile beyond the Cité on the great Roman road
to the north, where St. Martin on his way to Paris healed a leper. The
foundation, which soon grew to be one of the wealthiest in France,
included a hostel for poor pilgrims endowed by Philip I. with a mill on
the Grand Pont, to which the monks added the revenue from an oven.[44]

In the eighteenth century, when the monastery was secularised, the abbot
was patron of twenty-nine priories, three vicarates and thirty-five
parishes, five of which were in Paris. Some of the old building has been
incorporated in the existing Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. The
Gothic priory chapel, with its fine twelfth-century choir, is used as a
machinery-room, and the refectory, one of the most precious and
beautiful creations attributed to Pierre de Montereau, is now a library.

Philip I. brought to the indolent habit inherited from his father a
depraved and vicious nature. After a regency of eight years he became
king at the age of fifteen, and lived to defile his youth and dishonour
his manhood by debauchery and adultery, simony and brigandage. Early in
his career he followed the evil counsels of his provost Etienne, and
purposed the spoliation of the treasury of St. Germain des Prés to pay
for his dissolute pleasures. "As the sacrilegious pair," says the
chronicler, "drew near the relics, Etienne was smitten with blindness
and the terrified Philip fled." Simony filled his gaping purse;
bishoprics and other preferments were openly sold to the highest bidder,
and one day when an abbot complained that he had been kept waiting while
a rich competitor for a bishopric had been admitted, the king answered:
"Wait a while until I have made my money of him; I will then accuse him
of simony, and you shall have the reversion."

Regal irresponsibility led in 1092 to a greater crime. Most popular of
the twelfth-century stories sung by the _trouvères_ of North France was
that of Tortulf, the Breton outlaw, the Robin Hood of his day, who won
by his prowess against the Normans the lordship of rich lands by the
Loire, and with his son, Ingelar, founded the famous house of Anjou. In
1092 Foulques de Réchin, lord of Anjou--whose handsome grandson
Geoffrey, surnamed Plantagenet from the sprig of broom (_genêt_) he wore
in his helmet, was to father a race of English kings--had to wife
Bertrarde, fairest of the ladies of France, whose two predecessors had
been cast off like vile courtesans. Philip, when on a visit to the count
at Tours became inflamed with passion at beholding her, and she was
easily induced to elope with him under the promise that she should share
his throne. His queen, Bertha, mother of his two children, was
pitilessly driven from his bed and imprisoned at Montreuil, and two of
his venal bishops were found to bestow the blessings of the Church on
the new union. But the thunder of Rome came swift and terrible. Philip
laid aside his crown and sceptre, grovelled before the pontiff, and
implored forgiveness, but continued to live with his mistress. Next year
a new pope excommunicated the guilty pair and laid their kingdom under
the ban. The same Council, however, of Clermont, which fulminated
against Philip, stirred Christendom to the first crusade, and in the
magnificent enthusiasm of the moment Philip was permitted to live
outwardly submissive but secretly rebellious. He crowned Bertrarde at
Troyes, and lived on his vicious life, while Bertha was dying of a
broken heart in her prison at Montreuil. Monkish legends tell of the
excommunicated king languishing, a scrofulous wretch, in a deserted
court; but there is little doubt that the impious monarch died, tardily
repentant, at his palace at Melun, after a reign of nearly half a
century. It was a reign void of honour or profit to France. He left his
son Louis VI. (the Lusty) a heritage of shame, a kingdom reduced to
little more than a baronage over a few _comtés_, whose cities of Paris,
Etampes, Orleans and Sens were isolated from royal jurisdiction by
insolent and rebellious vassals, one of whom, the Seigneur de Puisset,
had inflicted a disgraceful defeat on Philip in 1081. Many of the great
seigneurs were but freebooters, living by plunder. The violence and
lawlessness of these and other smaller scoundrels, who levied blackmail
on merchants and travellers, made commerce almost impossible.
Corruption, too, had invaded many of the monasteries and fouled the
thrones of bishops, and a dual effort was made by king and Church to
remedy the evils of the times. The hierarchy strove to centralise power
at Rome that the Church might be purged of wolves in sheep's clothing:
the Capetian monarchs to increase their might at Paris in order to
subdue insolent and powerful vassals to law and obedience.

In 1097 the Duke of Burgundy learned that Archbishop Anselm of
Canterbury was about to pass through his territory with a rich escort on
his way to Rome. The usual ambush was laid and the party were held up.
As the duke hastened to spoil his victims, crying out--"Where is the
archbishop?" he turned and saw Anselm, impassive on his horse, gazing
sternly at him. In a moment the savage and lawless duke was transformed
to a pallid, stammering wretch with downcast eyes, begging permission to
kiss the old man's hand and to offer him a noble escort to safeguard
him through his territory. It was the moral influence of prelates such
as this and monks such as St. Bernard that enabled the hierarchy to
enforce the celibacy of the clergy, to cleanse the bishoprics and
abbeys, to wrest the privilege of conferring benefices from lay
potentates and feudal seigneurs who bartered them for money, and to make
and unmake kings.

The end of the eleventh and the beginning of the twelfth centuries saw
the culmination of the power of the reformed orders. All over France,
religious houses--the Grande Chartreuse, Fontevrault, Cîteaux,
Clairvaux--sprang up as if by enchantment. Men and women of all stations
and classes flocked to them, a veritable host of the Lord, "adorning the
deserts with their holy perfection and solitudes by their purity and
righteousness." "How fair a thing it is," exclaims St. Bernard, "to live
in perfect unity! One weeps for his sins; another sings praises to the
Lord. One teaches the sciences; another prays. One leads the active;
another the contemplative, life. One burns with charity; another is
prone in humility. Nought is here but the house of God and the very gate
of heaven."

St. Bernard was the terror of mothers and of wives. His austerity, his
loving-kindness,[45] his impetuous will and masterful activity, his
absolute faith and remorseless logic, his lyric and passionate
eloquence, carried all before him. St. Bernard was the dictator of
Christendom; he it was who with pitying gesture as of a kind father, his
eyes suffused with tender joy, received Dante from the hands of Beatrice
in the highest of celestial spheres, and after singing the beautiful
hymn to the Virgin, led him to the heaven of heavens, to the very
ecstasy and culmination of beatitude in the contemplation and
comprehension of the triune God Himself. But religious no less than
seculars are subdued by what they work in. Already in the tenth century
Richer complained that the monks of his time were beginning to wear rich
ornaments and flowing sleeves, and with their tight-fitting
garments[46] looked like harlots rather than monks.

In the polluting atmosphere of Philip's reign matters grew worse. St.
Bernard denounced the royal abbey of St. Denis as "a house of Satan, a
den of thieves." "The walls of the churches of Christ were resplendent
with colour but His poor were naked and left to perish; their stones
were gilded with the money of the needy and wretched to charm the eyes
of the rich." "Bishops dressed like women; the successors of St. Peter
rode about on white mules, loaded with gold and precious stones,
apparelled in fine silk, surrounded with soldiers and followed by a
brilliant train. They were rather the successors of Constantine."

In 1095 the task of cleansing the Abbey of St. Maur des Fossés seemed so
hopeless, that the abbot resigned in despair rather than imperil his
soul, and a more resolute reformer was sought. In 1107 the bishop of
Paris was commanded by Rome to proceed to the abbey of St. Eloy and
extirpate the evils there flourishing. The nuns, it was reported, had so
declined in grace, owing to the proximity of the court and intercourse
with the world, that they had lost all sense of shame and lived in open
sin, breaking the bonds of common decency. The scandal was so great that
the bishop determined to cut them off from the house of the Lord. The
abbey was reduced to a priory and given over to the abbot of the now
reformed monastery of St. Maur, and its vast lands were parcelled out
into several parishes.[47] The rights of the canons of Notre Dame were
to be maintained; on St. Eloy's day the abbot of St. Maur was to furnish
them with six pigs, two and a half measures of wine and three of fine
wheat, and on St. Paul's day with eight sheep, the same quantity of
wine, six crowns and one obole. The present Rue de la Cité and the
Boulevard du Palais give approximately the east and west boundaries of
the suppressed abbey, part of whose site is now occupied by the
Prefecture de Police.

But the way of the reformer is a hard one. At the Council of Paris,
1074, the abbot of Pontoise was severely ill-treated for supporting,
against the majority of the Council, the pope's decrees excluding
married clerics from the churches. The reform of the canons of Notre
Dame led to exciting scenes. Bishop Stephen of Senlis was sent in 1128
to introduce the new discipline, but the archdeacons and canons,
supported by royal favour, resisted, and Bishop Stephen was stripped of
his revenues and hastened back to his metropolitan, the archbishop of
Sens. The archbishop laid Paris under interdict and the influence of St.
Bernard himself was needed to compose the quarrel.

On Sunday, August 20, 1133, when returning from a visitation to the
abbey of Chelles, the abbot and prior of St. Victor were ambushed and
the prior was stabbed. Some years later, in the reign of Louis VII.,
Pope Eugene III. came to seek refuge in Paris from the troubles excited
at Rome by the revolution of Arnold of Brescia. When celebrating mass
before the king at the abbey church of St. Genevieve the canons had
stretched a rich, silken carpet before the altar on which the pontiff's
knees might rest. When the pope retired to the sacristy to disrobe, his
officers claimed the carpet, according to usage; the canons and their
servants resisted, and there was a bout of fisticuffs and sticks. The
king intervened, and anointed majesty himself was struck. A scuffle
ensued, during which the carpet was torn to shreds in a tug-of-war
between the claimants. Here was urgent need for reform. The pope decided
to introduce the new discipline and appointed a fresh set of canons. The
dispossessed canons met them with insults and violence, drowned their
voices by howling and other indignities, and only ceased on being
threatened with the loss of their eyes and other secular penalties.

Louis the Lusty was the pioneer of the great French Monarchy. He had
none of Philip's indolence, and was ever on the move, hewing his way,
sword in hand, through his domains, subduing the violence, and burning
and razing the castles of his insolent and disobedient vassals. The
famous Suger, abbot of St. Denis, was his wise and firm counsellor, and
led the Church to make common cause with him and lend her diocesan
militia. It was a poor bald _curé_ who, when all else despaired, led the
assault on the keep of the castle of Le Puisset; he seized on a plank of
wood, assailed the palisade, calling on the hesitating royal troops to
follow him; they were shamed by his bravery and the castle was won.

The social revolution known as the enfranchisement of the commons and
the growth of towns begins in the reign of Louis VI. The king would have
the peasant to till, the monk to pray, and the pilgrim and merchant to
travel in peace. He was an itinerant regal justiciary, destroying the
nests of brigands, purging the land with fire and sword from tyranny and
oppression. Wise in council, of magnificent courage in battle, he was
the first of the Capetians to associate the cause of the people with
that of the monarchy. They loved him as a valiant soldier-king,
destroyer and tamer of feudal tyrants, the protector of the Church, the
vindicator of the oppressed. He lifted the sceptre of France from the
mire and made of it a symbol of firm and just government.

It is in Louis VI.'s reign that we have first mention of the Oriflamme
(golden flame) of St. Denis, which took the place of St. Martin's cloak
as the royal standard of France. The Emperor Henry V. with a formidable
army was menacing France. Louis rallied all his friends to withstand him
and went to St. Denis to pray for victory. The abbot took from the altar
the standard--famed to have been sent by heaven, and formerly carried by
the first liege man of the abbey, the Count de Vexin, when the monastery
was in danger of attack--and handed it to the king. The sacred banner
was fashioned of silk in the form of a gonfalon, of the colours of fire
and gold, and was suspended at the head of a gilded lance.

There was a solemn ceremony, the _Remise des corps saints_, at the royal
abbey when the king returned with his court to give thanks and to
restore the banner to the altar. He carried the relics of the holy
martyrs on his shoulders in procession, then replaced them whence they
were taken and made oblations. A yet more superb spectacle was given to
the Parisians when Pope Innocent II., a refugee from the violence of the
anti-papal party at Rome, came to celebrate the Easter mass at St.
Denis. The pope and his cardinals were mounted on fair steeds, barons
and seigneurs on foot led the pope's white horse by the bridle. As he
passed, the Jews presented him with a scroll of the law wrapped in a
veil--"May it please God to remove the veil from your hearts," answered
the pope. The solemn mass ended, pope and cardinals repaired to the
cloisters where tables were spread with the Easter feast. They first
partook of the Paschal lamb, reclining on the carpet in the fashion of
the ancients, then, rising, took their places at table. After the repast
a magnificent procession went its way to Paris, to be met by the whole
city with King Louis and Prince Philip at their head.

The manner of the young prince's tragic death gives an insight into the
state of a mediæval town. He was riding one day for amusement in the
streets of Paris, attended by one esquire, when a pig ran between his
horse's feet; the lad was thrown and died before the last sacraments
could be administered. He was only fourteen years of age, and all France
wept for him.

The strenuous reign of Louis was marked by a great expansion of Paris,
which became more than ever the ordinary dwelling-place of the king and
the seat of his government. The market, now known as Les Halles, was
established at a place called Champeaux, belonging to St. Denis of the
Prison. William of Champeaux founded the great abbey of St. Victor,[48]
famed for its sanctity and learning, where Abelard taught and St. Thomas
of Canterbury and St. Bernard lodged. At the urgent prayer of his wife
Adelaide, the king built a nunnery at Montmartre, and lavishly endowed
it with lands, ovens, the house of Guerri, a Lombard money-changer, some
shops and a slaughter-house in Paris, and a small _bourg_, still known
as Bourg-la-Reine, about five miles south of the city. Certain rights of
fishing at Paris, to which Louis VII. added five thousand herrings
yearly from the port of Boulogne, were also granted. The churches of
Ste. Geneviève la Petite, founded to commemorate the miraculous staying
of the plague of the burning sickness (_les ardents_); of St. Jacques de
la Boucherie; and of St. Pierre aux Boeufs, so named from the heads of
oxen carved on the portal, were also built.



During the twenty-eight years of the reign of Louis VII. no heir to the
crown was born. At length, on the 22nd of August, 1165, Adelaide of
Champagne, his third wife, lay in child-bed and excited crowds thronged
the palace. The king, "afeared of the number of his daughters and
knowing how ardently his people desired a child of the nobler sex," was
beside himself with joy when the desire of his heart was held up to him.
The chamber was closed, but curious eyes had espied the longed-for heir
through an aperture of the door and in a moment the good news was spread
abroad. There was a sound of clarions and of bells and the city as by
enchantment shone with an aureole of light. An English student roused by
the uproar and the glare of what seemed like a great conflagration leapt
to the window and beheld two old women hurrying by with lighted tapers.
He asked the cause. They answered "God has given us this night a royal
heir, by whose hand your king shall suffer shame and ill-hap." This was
the birth of Philip le Dieu donné--Philip sent of Heaven--better known
as Philip Augustus. Under him and Louis IX. mediæval Paris, faithfully
reflecting the fortunes of the French Monarchy, attained its highest

When Philip Augustus took up the sceptre at fifteen years of age, the
little realm of the Isle de France was throttled by a ring of great and
practically independent feudatories, and in extent was no larger than
half-a-dozen of the eighty-seven departments into which France is now
divided. In thirty years Philip had burst through to the sea, subdued
the Duke of Burgundy and the great counts, wrested the sovereignty of
Normandy, Brittany and Maine from the English Crown, won Poitou and
Aquitaine, crushed the emperor and his vassals in the memorable battle
of Bouvines, and become one of the greatest of European monarchs. The
English king was humiliated by the invasion of his territory by Prince
Louis, afterwards Louis VIII., who overran nearly the whole of the east
of England, captured Rochester and Winchester, and received the barons'
homage at London.

The victory of Bouvines evoked that ideal of moral and material and
national unity which the later kings of France were to realise. The
progress of Philip towards Paris was one long triumph. Peasants and
mechanics dropped their tools to gaze on the dread iron Count of
Flanders, captive and wounded. The king, who had owed his life to the
excellence of his armour,[49] was received in Paris with a frenzy of
joy. The whole city came forth to meet him, flowers were strewn in his
path, the streets were hung with tapestry, Te Deums sung in all the
churches, and for seven days and nights the popular enthusiasm expressed
itself in dance, in song and joyous revel. It was the first national
event in France. The Count of Flanders was imprisoned in the new
fortress of the Louvre, where he lay for thirteen years, with ample
leisure to meditate on the fate of rebellious feudatories. "Never after
was war waged on King Philip, but he lived in peace."

Two vast undertakings make the name of Philip Augustus memorable in
Paris--the beginning of the paving of the city and the building of its
girdle of walls and towers.


One day as Philip stood at the window of his palace, where he was
wont to amuse himself by watching the Seine flow by, some carts rattled
along the muddy road beneath the window and stirred so foul and
overpowering an odour that the king almost fell sick. Next day the
provost and the sheriffs and chief citizens were sent for and ordered to
set about paving the city with stone. The work was not however completed
until the reign of Charles V., a century and a half later. It was done
well and lasted till the sixteenth century, when it was replaced by the
miserable cobbles, known as the pavement of the League. Whether the city
grew much sweeter is doubtful; certainly Paris in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries was as evil-smelling as ever. Montaigne, in the
second half of the sixteenth century, complains that the acrid smell of
the mud of Paris weakened the affection he bore to that fair city, and
Howell writes in 1620, "the city is always dirty, and by perpetual
motion the mud is beaten into a thick, black and unctuous oil that
sticks so that no art can wash it off, and besides the indelible stain
it leaves, gives so strong a scent that it may be smelt many miles off,
if the wind be in one's face as one comes from the fresh air of the


The great fortified wall of Philip Augustus began at the north-west
water-tower, which stood just above the present Pont des Arts, and
passed through the quadrangle of the Louvre where a line on the paving
marks its course to the Porte St. Honoré, near the Oratoire. It
continued northwards by the Rue du Jour to the Porte Montmartre, whose
site is marked by a tablet on No. 30 Rue Montmartre. Turning eastward by
the Painters' Gate (135 Rue St. Denis) and the Porte St. Martin, near
the Rue Grenier St. Lazare, the fortification described a curve in a
south-easterly direction by the Rue des Francs Bourgeois, where traces
of the wall have been found in the Cour de l'Horloge of the Mont de
Piété, and of a tower at No. 57. The line of the wall continued in the
same direction by the Lycée Charlemagne, No. 131 Rue St. Antoine, where
stood another gate, to the north-east water-tower, known as the Tour
Barbeau, which stood near No. 32 Quai des Célestins. The opposite or
southern division began at the south-east water-tower, La Tournelle, and
the Gate of St. Bernard on the present Quai de la Tournelle, and went
southward by the Rues des Fossés, St. Bernard and Cardinal Lemoine, to
the Porte St. Victor, near No. 2 Rue des Ecoles. The wall then turned
westward by the Rue Clovis, where at No. 7 one of the largest and
best-preserved remains may be seen. It enclosed the abbey of St.
Geneviève, and the Pantheon stands on the site of the Porte Papale. The
south-western angle was turned near the end of the Rue Soufflot and the
beginning of the Rue Monsieur le Prince. In a northerly direction it
then followed the line of the latter street, crossing the Boulevard St.
Germain, and continued by the Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie. In the Cour de
Rouen, No. 61 Rue St. André des Arts, an important remnant may be seen
with the base of a tower. We may now trace the march of the wall and
towers by the Rues Mazarin and Guénégaud, where at No. 29 other
fragments exist, to the south-west water-tower, the notorious Tour de
Nesle[50] whose site is occupied by the Hôtel des Monnaies. The passage
of the Seine was blocked by chains, which were drawn at night from tower
to tower and fixed on boats and piles. The wall was twenty years
building and was completed in 1211. It was eight feet thick, pierced by
twenty-four gates and fortified by about five hundred towers. Much of
the land it enclosed was not built upon; the _marais_ (marshes) on the
north bank were drained and cultivated and became market and fruit

The moated château of the Louvre, another of Philip's great buildings,
stood outside the wall and commanded the valley route to Paris. It was
at once a fortress, a palace and a prison. Parts of two wings of the
structure are incorporated in the present palace of the Louvre, and the
site of the remaining wings, the massive keep and the towers are marked
out on the pavement of the quadrangle.

Many are the stories of the great king's wisdom. One day, entering the
chapter-house of Notre Dame during the election of a bishop, Philip
seized a crozier and passing along the assembled canons thrust it into
the hands of one of lean and poor aspect, saying: "Here, take this, that
you may wax fat like your brethren." His jester once claimed to be of
his family through their common father Adam, and complained that the
heritage had been badly divided. "Well," said the king, "come to me
to-morrow and I will restore what is due to thee." Next day, in the
presence of his court, he handed the jester a farthing, saying: "Here is
thy just portion. When I shall have shared my wealth with each of thy
brothers, barely a farthing will remain to me."

One of the royal bailiffs coveted the land of a poor knight, who refused
to sell. The knight at length died, and the widow proving equally
stubborn, the bailiff went to the market-place, hired two porters whom
he dressed decently, and repaired with them by night to the cemetery
where the dead chevalier lay buried. His body was drawn from the tomb
and held upright while the bailiff abjured it to agree before the two
witnesses to a sale of the land. "Silence gives consent," said the
bailiff, and placed a coin in the corpse's hand. The tomb was closed and
the land seized on the morrow, despite the widow's protests. On the case
being brought before the judgment-seat of Philip in the palace of the
Cité, the two porters bore witness to the sale. The king, suspecting the
truth, led one of the witnesses aside and bade him recite a paternoster.
While the man was murmuring the prayer the king was heard of all the
court loudly saying: "Yes, that is so: you speak truly." The recital
over, the king assured him of pardon, and returning to the second
witness, admonished him also not to lie, for his friend had revealed all
as truly as if he had said a paternoster. The second witness confessed.
The bailiff, praying for mercy, fell prostrate before the king, who
condemned the guilty man to banishment for life, and ordered the whole
of his possessions to be escheated to the poor widow.

Of the impression that the Paris of Philip Augustus made on a provincial
visitor, we are able, fortunately, to give some account. "I am at
Paris," writes Guy of Bazoches, about the end of the twelfth century,
"in this royal city, where the abundance of nature's gifts not only
retains those that dwell there but invites and attracts those who are
afar off. Even as the moon surpasses the stars in brightness, so does
this city, the seat of royalty, exalt her proud head above all other
cities. She is placed in the bosom of a delicious valley, in the centre
of a crown of hills, which Ceres and Bacchus enrich with their gifts.
The Seine, that proud river which comes from the east, flows there
through wide banks and with its two arms surrounds an island which is
the head, the heart, and the marrow of the whole city. Two suburbs
extend to right and left, even the lesser of which would rouse the envy
of many another city. These suburbs communicate with the island by two
stone bridges; the Grand Pont towards the north in the direction of the
English sea, and the Petit Pont which looks towards the Loire. The
former bridge, broad, rich, commercial, is the centre of a fervid
activity, and innumerable boats surround it laden with merchandise and
riches. The Petit Pont belongs to the dialecticians, who pace up and
down disputing. In the island adjacent to the king's palace, which
dominates the whole town, the palace of philosophy is seen where study
reigns alone as sovereign, a citadel of light and immortality."

After Louis VIII.'s brief reign of three years, there rises to the
throne of France one of the gentlest and noblest of the sons of men, a
prince indeed, who, amid all the temptations of absolute power
maintained a spotless life, and at death laid down an earthly crown to
assume a fairer and an imperishable diadem among the saints in heaven.
All that was best in mediævalism--its desire for peace and order and
justice; its fervent piety, its passion to effect unity among Christ's
people and to wrest the Holy Land from the pollution of the infidel; its
enthusiasm for learning and for the things of the mind; its love of
beauty--all are personified in the life of St. Louis.

The young prince was eleven years of age when his father died. During
his minority he was nurtured in learning and piety[51] by his mother,
Blanche of Castile, whose devotion to her son, and firm and wise regency
were a fitting prelude to the reign of a saintly king. Even after he
attained his majority, Louis always sought his mother's counsel and was
ever respectful and submissive to her will. When the news of her death
reached him in the Holy Land, he went to his oratory, fell on his knees
before the altar, submissive to the will of God, and cried out with
tears in his eyes, that he had loved the queen, "his most dear lady and
mother, beyond all mortal creatures."

The king's conception of his office was summed up in two
words--_Gouverner bien_. "Fair son," said he one day to Prince Louis,
his heir, "I pray thee win the affection of thy people. Verily, I would
rather that a Scotchman came from Scotland and ruled the kingdom well
and loyally than that thou shouldst govern it ill." Joinville tells with
charming simplicity how the king after hearing mass in the chapel at
Vincennes was wont to walk in the woods for refreshment and then,
sitting at the foot of an old oak tree, would listen to the plaints of
his poorer people without let of usher or other official and administer
justice to them. At other times, clothed in a tunic of camlet, a surcoat
of wool (_tiretaine_) without sleeves, a mantle of black taffety, and a
hat with a peacock's plume, he would walk with his Council in the garden
of his palace in the Cité, and on the people crowding round him, would
call for a carpet to be spread on the ground, on which he would sit,
surrounded with his councillors, and judge the poor diligently.

So rigidly just was the good king that he would not lie even to the
Saracens. On his return from the crusade, being pressed by his Council
to leave a stranded ship, he called the mariners to him and asked them
if they would abandon the vessel if it were charged with merchandise.
All replied that they would risk their lives rather than forsake the
ship. "Then," said the king, "why am I asked to abandon it?" "Sire,"
they answered, "your royal person and your queen and children cannot be
valued in money nor weighed in the balance against our lives." "Well,"
said the king, "I have heard your counsel and that of my lords: now hear
mine. If I leave this ship there will remain on board five hundred men,
each of whom loves his life as dearly as I do mine, and who, perchance,
will never see their fatherland again. Therefore will I rather put my
person and my wife and children in God's hands than do hurt to so much

[Illustration: VINCENNES.]

In 1238 the king was profoundly shocked by the news that the crown of
thorns was a forfeited pledge at Venice for an unpaid loan advanced by
some Venetian merchants to the Emperor Baldwin of Constantinople. Louis
paid the debt,[52] redeemed the pledge, and secured the relic for Paris.
The king met his envoys at Sens, and barefooted, himself carried the
sacred treasure enclosed in three caskets, one of wood, one of silver
and one of gold, to Paris. The procession took eight days to reach the
city, and so great were the multitudes who thronged to see it, that a
large platform was raised in a field outside the walls, from which
several prelates exposed it in turn to the veneration of the people.
Thence it was taken to the cathedral of Notre Dame, the king dressed in
a simple tunic, and barefoot still carrying the relic. From the
cathedral it was transferred to the royal chapel of St. Nicholas within
the precincts of the palace. A year later the Emperor Baldwin was
constrained to part with other relics, including a piece of the true
cross, the blade of the lance and the sponge of the Passion. To enshrine
them and the crown of thorns the chapel of St. Nicholas was demolished
and the beautiful Sainte-Chapelle built in its place. The upper chapel
was dedicated to the relics; the lower to the Blessed Virgin. On solemn
festivals the king would himself expose the relics to the people. Louis
was zealous in his devotion and for a time attended matins in the new
chapel at midnight, until, suffering much headache in consequence, he
was persuaded to have the office celebrated in the early morning before
prime. His piety, however, was by no means austere: he had all the
French gaiety of heart, dearly loved a good story, and was excellent
company at table, where he loved to sit conversing with Robert de
Sorbon, his chaplain. "It is a bad thing," he said one day to Joinville,
"to take another man's goods, because _rendre_ (to restore) is so
difficult, that even to pronounce the word makes the tongue sore by
reason of the r's in it."

[Illustration: LA SAINTE CHAPELLE.]

At another time they were talking of the duties of a layman towards Jews
and Infidels. "Let me tell you a story," said St. Louis. "The monks of
Cluny once arranged a great conference between some learned clerks and
Jews. When the conference opened, an old knight who for love of Christ
was given bread and shelter at the monastery, approached the abbot and
begged leave to say the first word. The abbot, after some protest
against the irregularity, was persuaded to grant permission, and the
knight, leaning on his stick, requested that the greatest scholar and
rabbi among the Jews might be brought before him. 'Master,' said the
knight, 'do you believe that the Blessed Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus
and held Him at her breast, and that she is the Virgin Mother of God?'
The Jew answered that he believed it not at all. 'Then,' said the
knight, 'fool that thou art to have entered God's house and His church,
and thou shalt pay for it.' Thereupon he lifted his stick, smote the
rabbi under the ear and felled him to the ground. The terrified Jews
fled, carrying their master with them, and so," said St. Louis, "ended
the conference. And I tell you, let none but a great clerk dispute: the
business of a layman when he hears the Christian religion defamed is to
defend it with his sharp sword and thrust his weapon into the
miscreant's body as far as it will go."

Louis, however, did not apply the moral in practice. Although severe in
exacting tribute from the Jews, he spent much money in converting them
and held many of their orphan children at the font. To others he gave
pensions, which became a heavy financial burden to himself and his
successors. He was stern with blasphemers, whose lips he caused to be
branded with a hot iron. "I have heard him say," writes Joinville, "with
his own mouth, that he would he were marked with a red-hot iron himself
if thereby he could banish all oaths and blasphemy from his kingdom.
Full twenty-two years have I been in his company, and never have I heard
him swear or blaspheme God or His holy Mother or any Saint, howsoever
angry he may have been: and when he would affirm anything, he would say,
'Verily it is so, or verily it is not so.' Before going to bed he would
call his children around him and recite the fair deeds and sayings of
ancient princes and kings, praying that they would remember them for
good ensample; for unjust and wicked princes lost their kingdoms through
pride and avarice and rapine." The good king essayed to deal with some
social evils at court, but in vain:[53] he could only give the example
of a pure and chaste life. When he was in the east he heard of a Saracen
lord of Egypt who caused all the best books of philosophy to be
transcribed for the use of young men, and he determined to do the like
for the youth of Paris. Scribes were sent to copy the Scriptures and the
writings of the Fathers, preserved in various abbeys in France. He had a
convenient and safe place built at the treasury of the Sainte-Chapelle,
where he housed the books. Scholars had free access to them, and he
himself was wont in his leisure time to shut himself up there for study,
reading rather the Holy Fathers than the writings of the best doctors of
his own time.

Louis was a steadfast friend to the religious orders. On his return from
the Holy Land he brought with him six monks from Mount Carmel and
established them on the north bank of the Seine, near the present Quai
des Celestins; they were subsequently transferred to the University
quarter, on a site now occupied by the Marché aux Carmes. The prior of
the Grande Chartreuse was also prayed to spare a few brothers to found a
house in Paris; four were sent, and the king endowed them with his
Château de Vauvert, including extensive lands and vineyards. The château
was reputed to be haunted by evil spirits, and the street leading
thither as late as the last century was known as the Rue d'Enfer. Louis
began a great church for them, and the eight cells, each with its three
rooms and garden, were increased to thirty before the end of his reign;
in later times the order became one of the richest in Paris and occupied
a vast expanse of land to the south of the Luxembourg. The fine series
of paintings illustrating the life of St. Bruno, by Le Sueur, now in the
Louvre, was executed for the smaller cloister of the monastery. The
Grands Augustins were established on the south bank of the Seine, near
the present Pont Neuf, and the Serfs de la Vierge, known later as the
Blancs Manteaux, from their white cloaks, in the Marais. They were
subsequently amalgamated with the Guillelmites, or the Hermits of St.
William, and at no. 14 of the street of that name some remains of their
monastery may yet be seen. The church of the Blancs Manteaux, rebuilt
in the seventeenth century, also exists in the street of that name.


In 1217 the first of the Preaching Friars were seen at Paris. On the
12th of September seven friars, among whom were Laurence the Englishman
and a brother of St. Dominic, established themselves in a house near the
_parvis_ of Notre Dame. In 1218 the University gave them a home near St.
Genevieve, opposite the church of St. Etienne des Grez (St. Stephen of
the Greeks), and in the following year, when St. Dominic came to Paris,
the brothers had increased to thirty. The saint himself drew up the
plans of their monastery in the Rue St. Jacques, and always cherished a
particular affection for the Paris house. Their church was opened in
1220, and being dedicated to St. Jacques, the Dominicans were known as
Jacobins all over France. St. Louis endowed them with a school; they
soon became one of the most powerful and opulent of the religious
orders, and their church, a burial-place for kings and princes. The
Friars Minor soon followed. St. Francis himself, in his deep affection
for France, had determined to go to Paris and found a house of his
order, but being dissuaded by his friend, Cardinal Ugolin, sent in 1216
a few of his disciples. These early friars, true _poverelli di Dio_,
would accept no endowment of house or money, and supporting themselves
by their hands, carried their splendid devotion among the poor, the
outcast, and the lepers of Paris. In 1230 the Cordeliers, as they were
called,[54] accepted the _loan_ of a house near the walls in the
south-western part of the city. St. Louis built them a church, and left
them at his death part of his library and a large sum of money.[55] They
too became rich and powerful and their church one of the largest and
most magnificent in Paris. St. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus taught at
their school of theology. Their monastery in the sixteenth century was
the finest and most spacious in Paris, with cells for a hundred friars
and a vast refectory, which still exists. The king also founded the
hospital for 300 blind beggars, known as the Quinze-Vingts (15 × 20) now
in the Rue de Charenton, and left them an annual _rente_ of thirty
_livres parisis_, that every inmate might have a mess of good pottage at
his meals. Until Cardinal de Rohan, of diamond-necklace fame, effected
the sale of the buildings in 1779 to a syndicate of speculators, an act
of jobbery which brought his eminence a handsome commission, the
hospital was situated between the Palais Royal and the Louvre.
Originally it was a night shelter, whither the poor blind might repair
after their long quest in the streets of Paris. The king subsequently
gave them a dress on which Philip le Bel ordered a _fleur-de-lys_ to be
embroidered, that they might be known as the "king's poor folk." They
were privileged to place collecting-boxes and to beg inside the
churches. Since, however, the differences in the relative opulence of
churches was great, the right to beg in certain of the richer ones was
put up to auction every year, and those who promised to pay the highest
premium to the funds of the hospital were adjudicated the privilege of
begging there. This curious arrangement was in full vigour until the
latter half of the eighteenth century, when the foundation was removed.
Twelve blind brothers and twelve seeing brothers--husbands of blind
women who were lodged there on condition that they served as leaders
through the streets--had a share in the management of the institution.
Luxury seems to have sometimes invaded the hostel, for in 1579 a royal
decree forbade the sale of wine to the brethren and denounced the
blasphemy with which their conversation was often tainted. In 1631 they
were forbidden to use stuffs other than serge or cloth for their
garments, or to use velvet for ornament.

The establishment of the abbey of St. Antoine, of the Friars of the Holy
Cross and of the Sisters of St. Bega or Béguines, were also due to the
king's piety, and the whole city was surrounded with religious houses.
"Even as a scribe," says an old writer, "who hath written his book
illuminates it with gold and silver, so did the king illumine his
kingdom with the great quantity of the houses of God that he built."

Louis was, however, firm in his resistance to ecclesiastical
arbitrariness. The prelates complained to him on one occasion that
Christianity was going to the dogs, because no one feared their
excommunications, and prayed that he would order his sergeants to lend
the secular arm to enforce their authority. "Yes," answered the king,
"if you will give me the particulars of each case that I may judge if
your sentence be just." They objected that that appertained to the
ecclesiastical courts, but Louis was inflexible, and they remained

Many were the king's benefactions to the great hospital of Paris, the
Hôtel Dieu. Rules, dating from 1217, for the treatment of the sick poor
were elaborated in his reign with admirable forethought. The sick, after
confession and communion, were to be put to bed and treated as if they
were the masters of the house. They were to be daily served with food
before the nursing friars and sisters, and all that they desired was to
be freely given if it could be obtained and were not prejudicial to
their recovery. If the sickness were dangerous the patient was to be set
apart and to be tended with especial solicitude. The sick were never to
be left unguarded and even to be kept seven days after they were healed,
lest they should suffer a relapse. The friars and sisters were to eat
twice a day: the sick whenever they had need. A nurse who struck a
patient was excommunicated. In later times, lax management and the
decline of piety which came with the religious and political changes of
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries made reform urgent, and in 1505
the Parliament appointed a committee of eight _bourgeois clercs_ to
control the receipts. The buildings were much increased in 1636, but
were never large enough, and in 1655 the priory of St. Julien was united
to the hospital. "As many as 6000 patients," says Félibien, writing in
1725, "have been counted there at one time, five or six in one bed." No
limitations of age or sex or station or religion or country were set.
Everybody was received, and in Félibien's time the upkeep amounted to
500,000 livres per annum. The old Hôtel Dieu was situated to the south
of Notre Dame, and stood there until rebuilt on its present site in

The king was ever solicitous for the earthly weal of his subjects and
made an unpopular peace with England against the advice of his Council.
"Sirs," he protested, "the land I give to the king of England I give
without being held to do so, that I may awaken love between his children
and mine who are cousins germain."

[Illustration: RUE DE VENISE.]

Louis sought diligently over all the land for the _grand sage homme_ who
would prove an honest and fearless judge, punishing the wicked without
regard to rank or riches;[56] and what he exacted of his officers he
practised himself. He punished his own brother, the Count of Artois, for
having forced a sale of land on an unwilling man, and ordered him to
make restitution. He inflicted a tremendous fine on the Sire de Coucy,
one of the most powerful of his barons, for having hanged three young
fellows for poaching. The whole of the baronage appealed against the
sentence, but the king was inexorable. As Joinville was on his way to
join ship at Marseilles for the crusade in Palestine, he passed a ruined
château:--it had been razed to the ground as a warning to tyrannous
seigneurs, who robbed and spoiled merchants and pilgrims. Louis forbade
the judicial duel in civil cases; he instituted the Royal Watch to
police the streets of Paris; he registered and confirmed the charters of
the hundred crafts of Paris and gave many privileges to the great trade

In 1720 the king put on a second time the crusader's badge, "the dear
remembrance of his dying Lord," and met his death in the ill-fated
expedition to Tunis. Louis was so feeble when he left that Joinville
carried him from the Hôtel of the Count of Auxerre to the Franciscan
monastery (the Cordeliers), where the old friends and fellow-warriors in
the Holy Land parted for ever. When stricken with the plague the dying
king was laid on a couch strewn with ashes. He called his son, the Count
of Alençon, to him and gave wise and touching counsel, and, after holy
communion, he recited the seven penitential psalms, invoked
"Monseigneurs St. James and St. Denis and Madame St. Genevieve," crossed
his hands on his heart, gazed towards heaven and rendered his soul to
his Creator. _Piteuse chouse est et digne de pleurer le trépassement de
ce saint prince_, says Joinville, to whom the story was told by the
king's son--"A piteous thing it is and worthy of tears the passing away
of this holy prince."

The bones of the dead king, from which the flesh[57] had been removed by
boiling, were sent for burial to St. Denis, which he had chosen for the
place of his sepulture. The Sieur de Joinville,[58] his friend and
companion, from whose priceless memoirs we have chiefly drawn, ends his
story thus:--"I make known to all readers of this little book that the
things which I say I have seen and heard of the king are true and
steadfastly shall they believe them. And the other things of which I
testify but by hearsay, take them in a good sense if it please you,
praying God that by the prayers of Monseigneur St. Louis it may please
Him to give us those things that He knoweth to be necessary as well for
our bodies as for our souls. Amen."

King Louis was tall of stature, with a spare and graceful figure; his
face was of angelic sweetness, with eyes as of a dove, and crowned with
abundant fair hair. As he grew older he became somewhat bald and held
himself slightly bent. "Never," says Joinville, when describing a charge
led by the king, which turned the tide of battle, "saw I so fair an
armed man. He seemed to sit head and shoulders above all his knights.
His helmet of gold was most fair to see, and a sword of Allemain was in
his hand. Four times I saw him put his body in danger of death to save
hurt to his people."



Two epoch-making developments--the creation of Gothic architecture and
the rise of the university--synchronise with the period covered by the
reigns of Philip Augustus and St. Louis, and may now fitly be

[Illustration: CATHEDRAL OF ST. DENIS.]

The memory of the Norman terror had long passed from men's minds. The
Isle de France had been purged of robber lords, and with peace and
security, wealth and population had increased. The existing churches
were becoming too small for the faithful and new and fairer temples
replaced the old: the massive square towers, the heavy walls and thick
pillars of the Norman builders blossomed into grace and light and
beauty. Already in the beginning of the twelfth century the church of
St. Denis was in urgent need of extension. On festival days so great
were the crowds pressing to view the relics that many people had been
trodden under foot, and Abbot Suger determined to build a larger and
nobler church. St. Denis is an edifice of profound interest to the
traveller. In the west façade (1140) we may see the round Norman arch
side by side with the pointed Gothic, and the choir completed in 1144
was the earliest example of a Gothic apse. But Suger's structure was
nearly destroyed by fire in 1219, and the upper part of the choir, the
nave and transepts, were rebuilt in 1231 in the pure Gothic of the time.
Great was the enthusiasm of the people as the new temple rose. Noble and
burgess, freeman and serf, harnessed themselves like beasts of burden to
the ropes and drew the stone from the quarry. All would lend their aid
in raising the new house of God and of His holy martyrs, and the
burial-place of their kings. In 1161 Maurice de Sully, a peasant's son,
who had risen to become bishop of Paris, determined to erect a great
minster in the place of Childebert's basilica, which was no longer
adequate to the demands of the time. The old church of St. Stephen[59]
and many houses were demolished together with the cathedral, and a new
street, called Notre Dame, was made. Sully devoted the greater part of
his life and private resources to the work. The king, the pope,
seigneurs, guilds of merchants and private persons, vied with each other
in making gifts. Two years were spent in digging the foundations, and in
1163 Pope Alexander III. is said to have laid the first stone. In 1182,
the choir being finished, the papal legate consecrated the high altar.
At Sully's death, in 1196, the walls of the nave were erect and partly
roofed. The transepts and nave were completed in 1235.


In 1218 an ingenious and sacrilegious thief, climbing to the roof to
haul up the silver candlesticks from the altar by a noose in a rope, set
fire to the altar cloth, and the choir was seriously injured. Sully's
work had been Romanesque in style, and choir and apse were now rebuilt
in the new style, to harmonise with the remainder of the church. The
builders have preserved some of the best of the Romanesque
twelfth-century work in the portal of St. Anne's, under the south tower,
and the magnificent iron hinges of old St. Stephen's were used for its
doors. The chapels round the apse and the twenty-eight figures of the
royal benefactors from Childebert I. to Philip Augustus, on the west
front, were not completed until the end of the thirteenth century. The
choir of St. Germain des Prés and the exquisite little church of St.
Julien le Pauvre were built at the end of the twelfth century, and the
beautiful refectory of St. Martin des Champs was created about 1220. But
the culmination of Gothic art is reached in the wondrous sanctuary that
St. Louis built for the crown of thorns, "the most precious piece of
Gothic," says Ruskin, "in Northern Europe." Michelet saw a whole world
of religion and poetry--tears of piety, mystic ecstasy, the mysteries of
divine love--expressed in the marvellous little church, in the fragile
and precious paintings of its windows.[60] The narrow cell with an
aperture looking on the reliquary, which St. Louis used as an oratory,
is still shown. The work was completed in three years, and has been so
admirably restored by Viollet-le-Duc that the visitor may gaze to-day on
this pure and peerless gem almost as St. Louis left it, for the gorgeous
interior faithfully reproduces the mediæval colour and gold. During the
Revolution it was used as an granary and then as a club. It narrowly
escaped destruction, and men now living can remember seeing the old
notices on the porch of the lower chapel--_Propriété nationale à
vendre_. Only once a year, when the "red mass" is said at the opening of
the Law Courts in November, is the church used; and all that remains of
the relics has long been transferred to the treasury of Notre Dame. The
old Quinze-Vingts, the Chartreux, the Cordeliers, St. Croix de la
Bretonnerie, St. Catherine, the Blancs Manteaux, the Mathurins and other
masterpieces of the Gothic builders have all disappeared.

Gothic architecture was eminently a product of the Isle de France. The
thirteenth century rivals the finest period of Greek art for purity,
simplicity, nobility and accurate science of construction. Imagination
was chastened by knowledge, but not systematised into rigid rules. Each
master solved his problem in his own way, and the result was a charm and
a variety, a fertility of invention, never surpassed in the history of
art. Early French sculpture is a direct descendant of Greek art, which
made its way into France by the Phoenician trade route. French artists
achieved a perfection in the representation of the human form which
anticipated by a generation the work of the Pisani in Italy, for the
statues on the west front of Chartres Cathedral (1150-1160) are carved
with a naturalness and grace which the Italian masters never surpassed,
and the marvellously mature and beautiful thirteenth-century silver-gilt
figure of a king, in high relief, found in 1902 immured in an old house
at Bourges and exhibited in 1904 among the Primitifs Français at the
Louvre, was wrought more than a century before the birth of Donatello.
Some fragments of the old sculptures that adorned St. Denis and other
twelfth- and thirteenth-century churches may still be found in the
museums of Paris. The influence of the French architects, as Emile
Bertaux has demonstrated in the first volume of his _Art dans l'Italie
Meridionale_, extended far beyond the limits of France, and is clearly
traceable in the fine hunting-palace, erected for Frederic II. in the
thirteenth century, at Castello del Monte, near Andria, in Apulia. But
the names of those who created these wonderful productions no man
knoweth; the great masterpieces of the thirteenth century are anonymous.
Jean de Chelles, one of the masons of Notre Dame, has left his name on
the south portal and the date, Feb. 12, 1257, on which it was begun, "in
honour of the holy Mother of Christ," but nothing is known of him. The
Sainte-Chapelle is commonly attributed to Pierre de Montereau, but the
attribution is a mere guess.



Nor did the love of beauty during this marvellous age express itself
solely in architecture. If we were asked to specify one trait which more
than any other characterises the "dark ages" and differentiates them
from modern times, we should be tempted to say, love of brightness and
colour. Within and without, the temples of God were resplendent with
silver and gold, with purple and crimson and blue; the saintly figures
and solemn legends on their porches, the capitals, the columns, the
groins of the vaultings were lustrous with colour and gold. Each window
was a complex of jewelled splendour: the pillars and walls were painted
or draped with lovely tapestries and gorgeous banners: the shrines and
altars glittered with precious stones--jasper and sardius and
chalcedony, sapphire and emerald, chrysolite and beryl, topaz and
amethyst and pearl. The Church illuminated her sacred books with
exquisite painting, bound them with precious fabrics, and clasped them
with silver and gold; the robes of her priests and ministrants were rich
with embroideries. So insensible, so atrophied to colour have the eyes
of moderns grown amid their drab surroundings, that the aspect of a
building wherein skilful hands have in some small degree essayed to
realise the splendour of the past dazes the beholder; a sense of pain
rather than of delight possesses him and he averts his gaze.

[Illustration: LA SAINTE CHAPELLE.]

Nor were the churches of those early times anything more than an
exquisite expression of what men were surrounded by in their daily lives
and avocations. The houses[61] and oratories of noble and burgess were
rich with ivories exquisitely carved, with sculptures and paintings,
tapestry and enamels: the very utensils of common domestic use were
beautiful. Men did not prate of art: they wrought in love and
simplicity. The very word art, as denoting a product of human activity
different from the ordinary daily tasks of men, was unknown. If painting
was an art, even so was carpentry. A mason was an artist: so was a
shoemaker. Astronomy and grammar were arts: so was spinning.
Apothecaries and lawyers were artists: so was a tailor. Dante uses the
word _artista_ as denoting a workman or craftsman, and when he wishes to
emphasise the degeneracy of the citizens of his time as compared with
those of the old Florentine race, he does so by saying that in those
days their blood ran pure even _nell' ultimo artista_ (in the commonest
workman). Let us be careful how we speak of these ages as "dark"; at
least there were "retrievements out of the night." Already before the
tenth century the basilica of St. Germain des Prés was known as St.
Germain _le doré_ (the golden), from its glowing refulgence, and St.
Bernard declaimed against the resplendent colour and gold in the
churches of his time. Never since the age of Pericles has so great an
effusion of beauty descended on the earth as during the wondrous
thirteenth century in the Isle de France and especially in Paris.[62]

We pass from the enthusiasm of art to that of learning. From earliest
times, schools, free to the poor, had been attached to every great abbey
and cathedral in France. At the end of the eleventh century four were
eminent at Paris: the schools of St. Denis, where the young princes and
nobles were educated; of the Parvis Notre Dame, for the training of
young _clercs_,[63] the famous _Scola Parisiaca_, referred to by
Abelard; of St. Genevieve; and of St. Victor, founded by William of
Champeaux. The fame of this teacher drew multitudes of young men from
the provinces to Paris, among whom there came, about 1100, Peter
Abelard, scion of a noble family of Nantes. By his wit, erudition and
dialectical subtlety he soon eclipsed his master's fame and was
appointed to a chair of philosophy in the school of Notre Dame. William
of Champeaux, jealous of his young rival, compassed his dismissal, and
after teaching for a while at Melun, Abelard returned to Paris and
opened a school on Mont St. Genevieve, whither crowds of students
followed him. So great was the fame of this brilliant lecturer and
daring thinker that his school was filled with eager listeners from all
countries of Europe, even from Rome herself.

Abelard was proud and ambitious, and the highest prizes of an
ecclesiastical and scholastic career seemed within his grasp. But
Fulbert, canon of Notre Dame, had a niece, accomplished and passing
fair, Héloïse by name, who was an enthusiastic admirer of the great
teacher. It was proposed that Abelard should enter the canon's house as
her tutor, and Fulbert's avarice made the proposition an acceptable one.
Abelard, like Arnault Daniel, was a good craftsman in his mother tongue,
a facile master of _versi d'amore_, which he would sing with a voice
wondrously sweet and supple. Now Abelard was thirty-eight years of age:
Héloïse seventeen. _Amor al cor gentil ratio s'apprende_,[64] and
Minerva was not the only goddess who presided over their meetings. For a
time Fulbert was blind, but scandal cleared his eyes and Abelard was
expelled from the house. Héloïse followed and took refuge with her
lover's sister in Brittany, where a child, Astrolabe, was born.
Peacemakers soon intervened and a secret marriage was arranged, which
took place early one morning at Paris, Fulbert being present. But the
lovers continued to meet; scandal was again busy and Fulbert published
the marriage. Héloïse, that the master's advancement in the Church might
not be marred, gave the lie to her uncle and fled to the nuns of
Argenteuil. Fulbert now plotted a dastardly revenge. By his orders
Abelard was surprised in his bed, and the mutilation which, according to
Eusebius, Origen performed on himself, was violently inflicted on the
great teacher. All ecclesiastical preferment was thus rendered
canonically impossible: Abelard became the talk of Paris, and in bitter
humiliation retired to the abbey of St. Denis. Before he made his vows,
however, he required of Héloïse that she should take the veil. The
heart-broken creature reproached him for his disloyalty, and repeating
the lines which Lucan puts into the mouth of Cornelia weeping for
Pompey's death, burst into tears and consented to take the veil.

A savage punishment was inflicted by the ecclesiastical courts on
Fulbert's ruffians, who were made to suffer the _lex talionis_ and the
loss of their eyes: the canon's property was confiscated. The great
master, although forbidden to open a school at St. Denis, was importuned
by crowds of young men not to let his talents waste, and soon a country
house near by was filled with so great a company of scholars that food
could not be found for them. But enemies were vigilant and relentless,
and he had shocked the timid by doubting the truth of the legend that
Dionysius the Areopagite had come to France.

In 1124 certain of Abelard's writings on the Trinity were condemned, and
he took refuge at Nogent-sur-Seine, near Troyes, under the patronage of
the Count of Champagne. He retired to a hermitage of thatch and reeds,
the famous Paraclete, but even there students flocked to him, and young
nobles were glad to live on coarse bread and lie on straw, that they
might taste of wisdom, the bread of the angels. Again his enemies set
upon him. He surrendered the Paraclete to Héloïse and a small
sisterhood, and accepted the abbotship of St. Gildes in his own
Brittany. A decade passed, and again he was seen in Paris. His enemies
now determined to silence him. St. Bernard, the dictator of Christendom,
denounced his writings. Abelard appealed for a hearing, and the two
champions met in St. Stephen's church at Sens before the king, the
hierarchy and a brilliant and expectant audience. Abelard, the
ever-victorious knight-errant of disputation, stood forth, eager for the
fray, but St. Bernard simply rose and read out seventeen propositions
from his opponent's works, which he declared to be heretical. Abelard in
disgust left the lists, and was condemned unheard to perpetual silence.
The pope, to whom he appealed, confirmed the sentence, and the weary
soldier of the mind, old and heart-broken, retired to Cluny. He gave up
the struggle, was reconciled to his opponents, and died absolved by the
pope near Chalons in 1142. His ashes were sent to Héloïse, and twenty
years later she was laid beside him at the Paraclete. A well-known path,
worn by generations of unhappy lovers, leads to a monument in
Père-la-Chaise Cemetery at Paris which marks the last resting-place of
Abelard and Héloïse, whose remains were transferred there in 1817.

It is commonly believed that Abelard's school on Mont St. Genevieve was
the origin of the Latin Quarter in Paris, but the migration to the south
had probably begun before Abelard came, and was rather due to the
overcrowding of the episcopal schools. Teachers and scholars began to
swarm to the new quarter over the bridge where quiet, purer air and
better accommodation were found. Ordinances of Bishop Gilbert, 1116, and
Stephen, 1124, transcribed by Félibien, make this clear. So disturbed
were the canons by the numbers of students in the cloister, that
_externes_ were to be no longer admitted, nor other schools allowed on
the north side where the canons lodged. The growing importance of the
new schools, which tended to the advantage of the abbey of St.
Genevieve, soon alarmed the bishops, and the theologians were ordered to
lecture only between the two bridges (the Petit and Grand Ponts.) But it
was Abelard's brilliant career that attracted like a lodestar the youth
of Europe to Paris, and made that city the "oven where the intellectual
bread of the world was baked." Providence, it was said, had given Empire
to Germany, Priestcraft to Italy, Learning to France. What a
constellation of great names glows in the spiritual firmament of Paris:
William of Champeaux, Peter Lombard, Maurice de Sully, Pierre de
Chartreux, Abelard, Gilbert[65] l'Universel, John of Salisbury, Adrian
IV., St. Thomas of Canterbury. Small wonder that the youth of the
twelfth century sought the springs of learning at Paris!



There was no discipline or college life among the earliest students.
Each master, having obtained his license from the bishop's chancellor,
rented a room at his own cost, and taught what he knew--even, it was
sometimes complained, what he did not know. We read of one Adam du Petit
Pont, who, in the twelfth century, expounded Aristotle in the back-room
of a house on the bridge amid the cackle of cocks and hens, whose
_clientèle_ had many a vituperative contest with the fish-fags of the
neighbourhood. The students grouped themselves according to
nationalities, and with their masters held meetings in any available
cloister, refectory, or church. When funds were needed, a general levy
was made; any balance that remained was spent in a festive gathering in
the nearest tavern. The aggregation of thousands of young men, some of
whom were cosmopolitan vagabonds, gave rise to many evils. Complaints
are frequent among the citizens of the depredations and immoralities of
riotous _clercs_, who lived by their wits or by their nimble fingers,
or by reciting or singing licentious ballads: the _paouvres escolliers_,
whose miserable estate, temptations, debauchery, ignoble pleasures,
remorse and degradation have been so pathetically sung by François
Villon, master of arts, poet, bohemian, burglar and homicide. The richer
scholars often indulged in excesses, and of the vast majority who were
poor, some died of hunger. It was the spectacle of half-starving
_clercs_ begging for bread that evoked the compassion of pious founders
of colleges, which originally were simply hostels for needy scholars. On
the return of Louis VII. from a pilgrimage to Becket's shrine, his
brother Robert founded about 1180 the church of St. Thomas of Canterbury
and a hostel for fifteen students, who, in 1217, were endowed with a
chapel of their own, dedicated to St. Nicholas, and were then known as
the poor scholars of St. Nicholas.[66] In the same year a London
merchant, passing through Paris on his return from a pilgrimage to the
Holy Land, was touched by the sight of some starving students begging
their bread. He founded a hostel for eighteen poor scholars at the Hôtel
Dieu, who in return for lodging and maintenance were to perform the last
Christian rites to the friendless dead. This was the college of the
Dix-huit, afterwards absorbed in the Sorbonne. In 1200 Etienne Belot and
his wife, burgesses of Paris, founded a hostel for thirteen poor
scholars who were known as the _bons enfants_. In all, some dozen
colleges were in being when St. Louis came to the throne. In 1253, St.
Louis' almoner, Robert of Cerbon or Sorbon, a poor Picardy village,
founded[67] a modest college of theology, and obtained from Blanche of
Castile a small house above the palace of the Thermæ. Here he was able
to maintain a few poor scholars of theology and to facilitate their
studies. Friends came to his aid and soon sixteen were accommodated,
to whom others, able to maintain themselves, were added. In 1269 a papal
bull confirmed the establishment of the _pauvres maistres estudiants_ in
the faculty of theology at Paris. Even when enriched by later founders
it was still called _la pauvre Sorbonne_. By the renown of their
erudition, the doctors of the Sorbonne were the great court of appeal in
the Middle Ages in matters of theology, and the Sorbonne became
synonymous with the university. Some of the hostels were on a larger
scale. The college of Cardinal Lemoine, founded in 1302 by the papal
legate, housed sixty students in arts and forty in theology. Most were
paying residents, but a number of _bourses_ (scholarships) were provided
for those whose incomes were below a certain amount. Each _boursier_ was
given daily two loaves of white bread of twelve ounces, "the common
weight in the windows of Paris bakers."

In 1304, Jeanne of Navarre, wife of Philip the Fair, founded the college
of Navarre for seventy poor scholars, twenty in grammar, thirty in
philosophy, and twenty in theology. The maintenance fund seems, however,
to have been inadequate or mismanaged, for we soon read of the scholars
of the college walking the streets of Paris every morning
crying--"Bread, bread, good people, for the poor scholars of Madame of


Some forty colleges were in existence by the end of the fourteenth
century and had increased to fifty by the end of the fifteenth; in the
seventeenth, Evelyn gives their number as sixty-five. In Félibien's time
some had disappeared, for in his map (1725) forty-four colleges only are
marked. Nearly the whole of these colleges clustered around the slopes
of Mont St. Genevieve, which at length became that Christian Athens that
Charlemagne dreamt of. Each college had its own rules. Generally
students were required to attend matins (in summer at 3 a.m., winter at
4), mass, vespers and compline. When the curfew of Notre Dame sounded,
they retired to their dormitories. Leave to sleep out was granted only
in very exceptional cases. Tennis was allowed, cards and dice were
forbidden. The college of Montaigue, which housed eighty-two poor
scholars in memory of the twelve apostles and seventy disciples, was
reformed in the fifteenth century; so severe was the discipline that the
college became the terror of the youth of Paris, and fathers were wont
to sober their libertine sons by threatening to make _capetes_[68] of
them. This was Calvin's college, where he was known as the "accusative,"
from his austere piety. To obtain admission to the college of Cluny
(1269) the scholar must pass an entrance examination. He then spent two
years at logic, three at metaphysics, two in Biblical studies; he held
weekly disputations and preached every fortnight in French; he was
interrogated every evening by the president on his studies during the
day. If students evinced no aptitude for learning they were dismissed;
if only moderate progress were made, the secular duties of the college
devolved upon them. It was the foundation of these colleges which
organised themselves, about 1200, into powerful corporations of masters
and scholars (_universitates magistrorum et scholiarum_) that gave the
university its definite character.

When the term "university" first came into use is unknown. It is met
with in the statutes (1215) which, among other matters, define the
limits of age for teaching. A master in the arts must not lecture under
twenty-one; of theology under thirty-five. Every master must undergo an
examination as to qualification and moral fitness at the Episcopal
Chancellor's court. Early in the twelfth century the four faculties of
Law, Medicine, Arts and Theology were formed and the national groups
reduced to four: French, Picards, Normans and English.[69] Each group
elected its own officers, and in 1245 at latest the _Quatre Nations_
were meeting in the church of St. Julien le Pauvre[70] to choose a
common head or rector, who soon superseded the chancellor as head of the
university. The rectors in process of time exercised almost sovereign
authority in the Latin Quarter. They ruled a population of ten thousand
masters and students, who were exempt from civic jurisdiction. In 1200
some German students ill-treated an innkeeper who had insulted their
servant. The provost of Paris and some armed citizens attacked the
students' houses and blood was shed, whereupon the masters of the
schools complained to the king, who was fierce in his anger, and ordered
the provost and his accomplices to be cast into prison, their houses
demolished and vines uprooted. The provost was given the choice of
imprisonment for life or the ordeal by water. Then followed a series of
ordinances which abolished secular jurisdiction over the students and
made them subject to ecclesiastical courts alone.


In the reign of Philip le Bel a provost of Paris dared to hang a
scholar. The rector immediately closed all classes until reparation was
made, and on the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin the _curés_ of
Paris assembled and went in procession, bearing a cross and holy water
to the provost's house, against which each cast a stone, crying, in a
loud voice--"Make honourable reparation, thou cursed Satan, to thy
mother Holy Church, whose privileges thou hast injured, or suffer the
fate of Dathan and Abiram." The king dismissed his provost, caused ample
compensation to be made, and the schools were reopened.

In 1404 some pages belonging to the royal chamberlain brutally spurred
their horses through a procession of scholars wending to the church of
St. Catherine. They were stoned by the angry scholars, whereupon they
drew sword and attacked them, pursuing them even into the church. The
rector demanded satisfaction, but the chamberlain, Charles de Savoisy,
was a court functionary, and nothing was done. The rector then closed
all the schools and the king ordered the Parlement to do instant
justice. The sentence was an exemplary one. The chamberlain's house was
to be demolished, an annuity of one hundred livres to be paid for the
maintenance of five chaplaincies under the patronage of the university,
a thousand livres compensation to be paid to the injured scholars and a
like sum to the university. Three of the chamberlain's men were to do
penance in their shirts, torch in hand, before the churches of St.
Genevieve, St. Catherine and St. Sévérin, to suffer a whipping at the
cross roads, and to be banished for three years. In 1406 permission was
given for the house to be rebuilt, but the university resisted the
decree and only gave way one hundred and twelve years later, on
condition that the terms of the original condemnation and sentence were
inscribed on the new house.

The famous Prés aux Clercs (Clerks' Meadow) was the theatre of many a
fight with the powerful abbots of St. Germain des Prés. From earliest
times the students had been wont to take the air in the meadow, which
lay between the monastery and the river, and soon claimed the privilege
as an acquired right. In 1192 the inhabitants of the monastic suburb
resented their insolence, and a free fight ensued, in which several
scholars were wounded and one was killed. The rector inculpated the
abbot, and each appealed to Rome, with what result is unknown. After
nearly a century of strained relations and minor troubles the abbots in
1278 had walls and other buildings erected on the way to the meadow. The
scholars met in force and demolished them. The abbot, who was equal to
the occasion, rang his bells, called his vassals to arms and sent a
force to seize the gates of the city that gave on the suburb, to prevent
reinforcements reaching the scholars. His retainers then attacked the
rioters, killed several and wounded many. The rector complained to the
papal legate and threatened to close the schools if reparation were not
made and justice done within fifteen days, whereupon the legate ordered
the provost of the monastery to be expelled for five years. The royal
council forced the abbot to exile ten of his vassals, to endow two
chantries for the repose of the souls of slain _clercs_ and compensate
their fathers by fines of two hundred and four hundred livres
respectively, and to pay the rector two hundred livres to be distributed
among poor scholars.

The rector claimed right of jurisdiction over the parchments exposed for
sale in Paris and its neighbourhood, and attended with his sworn experts
the great Fair of Landry at St. Denis, instituted in 877. The students
accompanied him with much uproar. At this season the Landry gifts were
made by the students to the masters, consisting of a lemon larded with
pieces of gold or silver in a crystal glass. The ceremony was
accompanied by the sound of drums and musical instruments and was
followed by a holiday. Innumerable were the complaints on this and other
occasions of the rowdyism of the scholars, their practical jokes and
dissolute habits.

Many circumstances contributed to make Paris the capital of the
intellectual world in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. France has
ever been the home of great enthusiasms and has not feared "to follow
where airy voices lead." The conception and enforcement of a Truce of
God (_Trève de Dieu_) whereby all acts of hostility in private or public
wars ceased during certain days of the week or on church festivals; the
noble ideal of Christian chivalry; the first crusade--all had their
origin in France. The crusaders carried the prestige of the French name
and diffused the French idiom over Europe. It was a French monk
preaching in France who gave voice to the general enthusiasm; a French
pope approved his impassioned oration; a French shout "_Dieu le veut_"
became the crusader's war-cry. The conquest of the Holy Land was
organised by the French, its first Christian king was a French knight,
its laws were indited in French, and to this day every Christian in the
East is a Frank whatever tongue he may speak. In the thirteenth century
Brunetto Latini wrote his most famous work, the _Livres dou Trésor_, in
French, because it was _la parleure plus delitable, il plus commune à
toutes gens_ ("the most delightful of languages and the most common to
all peoples.") Martin da Canale composed his story of Venice in French
for the same reason, and Marco Polo dictated his travels in French in a
Genoese prison. When St. Francis was sending the brothers to establish
the order in distant lands, he himself chose France, but was dissuaded
by his friend, Cardinal Ugolin. "When inebriated with love and
compassion for Christ," says the writer of the _Speculum_, "and
overflowing with sweetest melody of the Spirit, ofttimes would he find
utterance in the French tongue; the strains of the divine whisperings
which his ear had caught he would express in a French song of joyous
exultation, and making the gestures of one playing a viol, he would sing
in French of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Never in the history of civilisation were men possessed with such
passion for the spiritual life or such faith in the reasoning faculty as
in the thirteenth century in Paris. The holiest mysteries were analysed
and defined; everywhere was a search for new things. Conservative
Churchmen became alarmed and complained of disputants and blasphemers
exercising their wits at every street corner. The four camel-loads of
manuscripts, the works and commentaries of Aristotle, brought by the
Jews from Spain--a monstrous and mutilated version translated from
Greek into Arabic and from Arabic into Latin--became the battle-ground
of the schools. The Church at first forbade the study of Aristotle, then
by the genius of Aquinas, Christianised and absorbed him. His works
became a kind of intellectual tennis-ball bandied between the
Averroists, who carried their teachings to a logical consequence, and
the more orthodox followers of Aquinas. For three years the faculty was
torn asunder by the rival factions. Siger of Brabant, whose eternal
light Dante saw refulgent amid other doctors of the Church in the heaven
of the Sun, was an Averroist; Siger--

    "Che leggendo nel vico degli strami
     Sillogizzò invidiosi veri."[71]

The Rue du Fouarre (Straw), where Siger taught and perhaps Dante
studied, was the street of the Masters of the Arts. Every house in it
was a school. It still exists, though wholly modernised, opposite the
foot of the Petit Pont. Its name has been derived from the straw spread
on the floor of the schools or on which the students sat, but there is
little doubt that Benvenuto da Imola's[72] explanation, that it was so
named from a hay and straw market held there, is the correct one.

[Illustration: LE PETIT PONT.]

The wonderful thirteenth century saw the meridian glory of the
university. It was the age of the great Aristotelian schoolmen who all
taught at Paris--Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and
Roger Bacon, their candid critic, who carried the intellectual curiosity
of the age beyond the tolerance of his Franciscan superiors and twice
suffered disciplinary measures at Paris.

In the fourteenth century the university was as renowned as ever. Among
many tributes from great scholars we choose that of Richard de Bury,
bishop of Durham, who in his _Philobiblon_ writes: "O Holy God of gods
in Zion, what a mighty stream of pleasure made glad our hearts whenever
we had leisure to visit Paris, the Paradise of the world, and to linger
there; where the days seemed ever few for the greatness of our love!
There are delightful libraries more aromatic than stores of spicery;
there are luxuriant parks of all manners of volumes; there are Academic
meads shaken by the tramp of scholars; there are lounges of Athens;
walks of the Peripatetics; peaks of Parnassus; and porches of the
Stoics. There is seen the surveyor of all arts and sciences Aristotle,
to whom belongs all that is most excellent in doctrine, so far as
relates to this passing sublunary world; there Ptolemy measures
epicycles and eccentric apogees and the nodes of the planets by figures
and numbers; there Paul reveals the mysteries; there his neighbour
Dionysius arranges and distinguishes the hierarchies; there the virgin
Carmentis reproduces in Latin characters all that Cadmus collected in
Phoenician letters; there indeed opening our treasures and unfastening
our purse-strings we scattered money with joyous heart and purchased
inestimable books with mud and sand."

In 1349 the number of professors (_maistres-regents_) on the rolls was
502: in 1403 they had increased to 709, to which must be added more than
200 masters of theology and canon law. "The University," wrote Pope
Alexander IV. in a papal bull, "is to the Church what the tree of life
was to the earthly Paradise, a fruitful source of all learning,
diffusing its wisdom over the whole universe; there the mind is
enlightened and ignorance banished and Jesus Christ gives to His spouse
an eloquence which confounds all her enemies."

But already decadence had set in. The multiplication and enrichment of
colleges proved fatal to the old democratic vigour and equality. Some
colleges pretended to superiority and the movement lost its unity.
Scholasticism had done its work and no new movement took its place.
Teachers lost all originality and did but ruminate and comment on the
works of their great predecessors. Schools declined in numbers and
scholars in attendance. Ordinances were needed to correct the abuses
covered by the title of scholar. The Jacobin and Cordelier teachers,
moreover, had exhausted much life from the university; but its fame
continued, and Luther in his early conflicts with the papacy appealed
against the pope to the university. But it made the fatal blunder of
opposing the Reform and the Renaissance, instead of absorbing them, and
the interest of those great movements centres around the college of



The court of Philip III., pitiful scion of a noble king, is associated
with a dramatic judicial murder at Paris. Among the late-repentant souls
temporarily exiled from purification who crowd around Dante at the foot
of the Mont of Purgatory is that of Pierre de la Brosse, "severed from
its body through hatred and envy and not for any sin committed." Unhappy
Pierre was St. Louis' chamberlain and had been present at his death. He
filled the same high office under his son, became his favourite minister
and all-powerful at court. In 1276 the king's eldest son by his first
queen died under suspicion of poison. The second queen, sister of the
Duke of Brabant, being envious of Pierre's ascendency, began insidiously
to abuse the king's ear. Pierre met the queen's move by clandestinely
spreading a report that the prince was sacrificed to secure the
succession to her own offspring. The king was then persuaded by the
queen's friends to consult a famous prophetess, who declared her
innocent, and Pierre's death was plotted by the queen, her brother of
Brabant, and some discontented and jealous nobles. One morning Paris was
startled by the arrest of the omnipotent minister, who was tried before
a commission packed by his enemies, and hanged on 30th June 1278, by the
common hangman, at the gibbet on Montfaucon, in the presence of the Duke
of Brabant and others of his enemies. The popular belief was that he had
been accused of an attempt on the queen's chastity: actually his
destruction had been compassed by a charge of treason, based on some
forged letters. The tragic end of Pierre de la Brosse excited universal
interest and discussion. Benvenuto da Imola says that Dante, when in
Paris, diligently sought out the truth and convinced himself of the
great minister's innocence.

A prince of far different calibre was the Fourth Philip, surnamed the
Fair, who grappled with and humiliated the great pontiff, Boniface
VIII.--the most resolute upholder of the papacy in her claim to
universal secular supremacy--and thus achieved a task which had baffled
the mighty emperors themselves; a prince who, in Dante's grim metaphor,
scourged the shameless harlot of Rome from head to foot, and dragged her
to do his will in France.


Philip's reign is remarkable for the establishment of the Parlement and
the first convocation of the States-General in Paris. From earliest
times of the Monarchy, the kings had dispensed justice, surrounded by
the chief Churchmen and nobles of the land, thus constituting an
ambulatory tribunal, which was held wherever the sovereign might happen
to be. In 1302 Philip fixed the tribunal at Paris, restricted it to
judicial functions, and housed it in his palace of the Cité, which, in
1431, when the kings ceased to dwell there, became the Palais de
Justice. The palace was rebuilt by Philip. A vast hall, divided by a row
of columns adorned with statues of the kings of France, and said to have
been the most spacious and most beautiful Gothic chamber in France, with
other courts and offices, accommodated the Parlement. The tribunal was
at first composed of twenty-six councillors or judges, of whom thirteen
were lawyers, presided over by the royal chancellor. It sat twice yearly
for periods of two months, and consisted of three chambers or
courts.[73] The nobles who at first sat among the lay members gradually
ceased to attend owing to a sense of their legal inefficiency, and the
Parlement became at length a purely legal body. During the imprisonment
of the French king, John the Good, in England, the Parlement[74] sat
_en permanence_, and henceforth became the _cour souveraine et capitale_
of the kingdom. The purity of its members was maintained by severest
penalties. In 1336 one of the presidents was convicted of receiving
bribes and hanged. Twelve years later the falsification of some
depositions was punished with the same severity, and in 1545 a corrupt
chancellor was fined 100,000 livres, degraded, and imprisoned for five
years. The chief executive officer of the Parlement, known as the
Concierge, appointed the bailiffs of the court and had extensive local
jurisdiction over dishonest merchants and craftsmen, whose goods he
could burn. His official residence, known as the Conciergerie,
subsequently became a prison, and so remains to this day. The entrance
flanked by the two ancient _tours de César et d'Argent_, is one of the
most familiar objects in Paris. There the Count of Armagnac was
assassinated and the cells are still shown where Marie Antoinette,
Madame Roland, Danton, Robespierre, and many of the chief victims of the
Terror were lodged before their execution.

The same year (1302) saw the ripening of Philip's long quarrel with Pope
Boniface VIII. and the first meeting of the States-General. The king
knew he had embarked on a struggle in which the mightiest potentates had
been worsted: he determined to appeal to the patriotism of all classes
of his subjects and fortify himself on the broad basis of such popular
opinion as then existed. The meeting of the States-General after the
burning of the papal bull in Paris on the memorable Sunday of 11th
February 1302, made an epoch in French history. For the first time
members of the _Tiers Etat_ (the Third Estate, or Commons), sat beside
the two privileged orders of clergy and nobles, and were recognised as
one of the legitimate orders of the realm. The assembly was convoked to
meet in Notre Dame on the 10th of April. The question was the old one
which had rent Christendom asunder for centuries: Was the pope to be
supreme over the princes and peoples of the earth in secular as well as
in spiritual matters? The utmost enthusiasm prevailed, and though the
prelates spoke with a somewhat timid voice the assembled members swore
to risk their lives and property rather than sacrifice the honour of the
crown and their own liberties to the insolent usurpation of the pope.
Excommunication followed, but the king had ordered all the passes from
Italy to be guarded, so that no papal letter or messenger should enter
France. "Boniface, who," says Villani, the Florentine chronicler, "was
proud and scornful, and bold to attempt every great deed, magnanimous
and puissant, replied by announcing the publication of a bull deposing
the king from his throne and releasing his subjects from their
allegiance." Philip, at an assembly in the garden of the palace in the
Cité, and in presence of the chief ecclesiastical, religious and lay
authorities, again laid his case before the people and read an appeal
against the pope to a future Council of the Church.

The bull of deposition was to be promulgated on 8th September. On 7th
September, while the aged pope was peacefully resting at his native city
of Anagni, Guillaume de Nogaret, bearing the royal banner of France,
Sciarra Colonna and other disaffected Italian nobles, with three hundred
horsemen, flung themselves into Anagni, crying--"Death to Pope
Boniface." The papal palace was unguarded; at the first alarm the
cardinals fled and hid themselves, and all but a few faithful servants
forsook their master. The defenceless pope believed that his hour was
come, but, writes Villani, "Great-souled and valiant as he was, he said,
'Since like Jesus Christ I must be taken by treachery and suffer death,
at least I will die like a pope.' He commanded his servants to robe him
in the mantle of Peter, to place the crown of Constantine on his head
and the keys and crozier in his hands." He ascended the papal throne and
calmly waited. Guillaume, Sciarra and the other leaders burst into the
apartment, sword in hand, uttering the foulest of insults; but awed and
cowed by the indomitable old pontiff, who stood erect in appalling
majesty, their weapons dropped and none durst lay a hand upon him. They
set a guard outside the room and proceeded to loot the palace. For three
days the grand old pontiff--he was eighty-six years of age--remained a
prisoner, until the people of Anagni rallied and rescued him, and he
returned to Rome. In a month the humiliated Boniface died of a broken
heart, and before two years were passed his successor in Peter's chair,
Pope Clement V., revoked all his bulls and censures, expunged them from
the papal register, solemnly condemned his memory and restored the
Colonna family to all their honours. Dante, who hated Boniface as
cordially as Philip did, and cast him into hell, was yet revolted at the
cruelty of the "new Pilate, who had carried the fleur-de-lys into
Anagni, who made Christ captive, mocked Him a second time, renewed the
gall and vinegar, and slew Him between two living thieves." But the "new
Pilate was not yet sated." The business at Anagni had only been effected
_spendendo molta moneta_; the disastrous battle of Courtrai and the
inglorious Flemish wars had exhausted the royal treasury; the debasement
of the coinage had availed nought, and Philip turned his lustful eyes on
a once powerful lay order, whose wealth and pride were the talk of

[Illustration: ILE DE LA CITÉ.]

After the capture of Jerusalem and the establishment there of a
Christian kingdom, pilgrims flocked to the holy places. Soon, however,
piteous stories reached Jerusalem of the cruel spoliation and murder of
unarmed pilgrims on their journey from the coast by hordes of roving
lightly-armed Bedouins, against whom the heavily-armed Franks were
powerless. The evil was growing well-nigh intolerable when, in 1118, two
young French nobles, Hugh of Payens and Godfrey of St. Omer, with other
seven youths of highest birth, bound themselves into a lay community,
with the object of protecting the pilgrims' way. They took the usual vow
of poverty, charity and obedience; St. Bernard drew up their
Rule--and we may be sure it was austere enough--pope and patriarch
confirmed it. Their garb was a mantle of purest white linen with a red
cross embroidered on the shoulder. The order was housed in a wing of the
king's palace, which was built on the site of Solomon's Temple, hard by
the Holy Sepulchre, and its members called themselves the Poor Soldiers
of Christ and of Solomon's Temple. Their banner, half of black, half of
white, was inscribed with the device "_non nobis Domine_." Their
battle-cry "Beauceant," and their seal, two figures on horseback, have
not been satisfactorily interpreted--the latter probably portrays a
knight riding away with a rescued pilgrim. Soon the little band of nine
was joined by hundreds of devoted youths from rich and noble families;
endowments to provide them with arms and horses and servants flowed in,
and thus was formed the most famous, the purest and the most heroic body
of warriors the world has ever seen. Hugh de Payens had gathered three
hundred Knights-Templars around him at Jerusalem: in five years nearly
every one had been slain in battle. But enthusiasm filled the ranks
faster than they were mowed down: none ever surrendered and the order
paid no money for ransom. When hemmed in by overwhelming numbers, they
fought till the last man fell, or died, a wounded captive, in the hands
of the Saracens. Of the twenty-two Grand Masters seven were killed in
battle, five died of wounds, and one of voluntary starvation in the
hands of the infidel.

When Acre was lost, and the last hold of the Christians in the Holy Land
was wrested from them, only ten Knights-Templars of the five hundred who
fought there escaped to Cyprus. They chose Jacques de Molay for Grand
Master, replenished their treasury and renewed their members; but their
mission was gone for ever. The order was exempt from episcopal
jurisdiction and subject to the pope alone: its wealth, courage and
devotion were rusting for lack of employment. Boniface VIII., with that
grandeur and daring which make of him despite his faults, so magnificent
a figure in history, conceived the idea of uniting them with the other
military orders--the Hospitallers and the Teutonic Knights--and making
of the united orders an invincible army to enforce on Europe the decrees
of a benevolent and theocratic despotism. They soon became suspected and
hated by bishops and kings alike, and at length were betrayed by the
papacy itself to their enemies.

In 1304, a pair of renegade Templars,[75] who for their crimes were
under sentence of imprisonment for life in the prison at Toulouse,
sought an introduction to the king, and promised in return for their
liberty to give information of certain monstrous crimes and sacrileges
of common and notorious occurrence in the order. Depositions were taken
and sent to the king's creature, Pope Clement V. Some communication
passed between them, but no action was taken and the matter seemed to
have lapsed. About a year after these events the pope wrote an
affectionate letter to Jacques de Molay, inviting him to bring the
treasure of the order and his chief officers to France, to confer with
himself and the king respecting a new crusade. Jacques and his
companions, suspecting nothing, came and were received by pope and king
with great friendliness: the treasure, twelve mules' load of gold and
silver, was stored in the vaults of the great fortress of the Templars
at Paris. Some rumours reached de Molay of the delation made by the
Toulousian prisoners, but the pope reassured him in an interview, April
1307, and lulled him into security. On 14th September of the same year
all the royal officers of the realm were ordered to hold themselves
armed for secret service on 12th October, and sealed letters were handed
to them to be opened on that night. At dawn on the 13th, all the
Templars in France were arrested in their beds and flung into the
episcopal gaols, and the bishops then proceeded to "examine" the
prisoners. One hundred and forty were dealt with in Paris, the centre of
the order. The charges and a confession of their truth by the Grand
Master were read to them: denial, they were told, was useless; liberty
would be the reward of confession, imprisonment the penalty of denial.


A few confessed and were set free. The remainder were "examined."
Starvation and torture of the most incredible ferocity did their work.
Thirty-six died under torture in Paris, and many others in other places:
most of the remainder confessed to anything the inquisitors required.
The pope, warned by the growing feeling in Europe, now became alarmed,
and the next act in the drama opens at Paris, where a papal commission
sat at the Abbey of St. Genevieve, to hear what the Templars had to say
in their defence. All were invited to give evidence and promised
immunity in the name of the pope. Hundreds came to Paris to defend their
order,[76] but having been made to understand by the bishops that they
would be burned as heretics if they retracted their confessions, they
held back for a time until solemnly assured by the papal commissioners
that they had nothing to fear, and might freely speak. Ponzardus de
Gysiaco, preceptor of Payens, then came forward and disclosed the
atrocious means used to extort confessions, and said if he were so
tortured again he would confess anything that were demanded of him. He
would face death, however horrible, even by boiling and fire, in defence
of his order, but long-protracted and agonising torture was beyond human
endurance. He was sent back to confinement and the warders were bidden
to see that he suffered naught for what he had said. The rugged old
master, Jacques de Molay, scarred by honourable wounds, the marks of
many a battle with the infidel, was brought before the court and his
alleged confession was read to him. He was stupefied, and swore that if
his enemies were not priests he would know how to deal with them. A
second time he was examined and preposterous charges of unnatural
crimes were preferred against the order by the king's chancellor,
Guillaume de Nogaret. They were drawn from a chronicle at St. Denis, and
based on certain statements alleged to have been made by Saladin, Sultan
of Babylon (Egypt). Again he was stupefied, and declared he had never
heard of such things. And now the Templars' courage rose. Two hundred
and thirty-one came forward, emaciated, racked and torn; among them one
poor wretch was carried in, whose feet had been burnt off by slow fires.
Nearly all protested that the confessions had been wrung from them by
torture, that their accusers were perjurers, and that they would
maintain the purity of their order _usque ad mortem_ ("even unto
death"). Many complained that they were poor, illiterate soldiers,
neither able to pay for legal defence nor to comprehend the charges
indicted in Latin against them. When the commissioners went to
interrogate twenty Templars detained in the abbey of St. Genevieve, a
written petition was handed to them by the prisoners, with a prayer to
the papal notaries to correct the bad Latin. It was Philip's turn now to
be alarmed, but the prelates were equal to the crisis. The archbishop of
Sens, metropolitan of Paris and brother of the king's chief adviser,
convoked a provincial court at his palace in Paris, and condemned to the
stake fifty-four of the Knights who had retracted their confessions. On
the 10th of May the papal commissioners were appealed to: they expressed
their sorrow that the episcopal court was beyond their jurisdiction, but
would consider what might be done. Short time was allowed them. The
stout-hearted archbishop was not a man to show weakness; he went
steadily on with his work, and in spite of appeals from the papal judges
for delay, the fifty-four were led forth on the afternoon of the
12th[77] to the open country outside the Porte St. Antoine, near the
convent of St. Antoine des Champs, and slowly roasted to death. They
bore their fate with the constancy of martyrs, each protesting his
innocence with his last breath, and declaring that the charges alleged
against the order were false. Two days later, six more were sent to the
stake at the Place de Grève. In spite of threats, the prelates went on
with their grim work of terror. Many of the bravest Templars still gave
the lie to their traducers, but the majority were cowed: further
confessions were obtained, and the pope was satisfied. The proudest,
bravest and richest order in Christendom was crushed or scattered to the
four corners of the world. Their vast estates were nominally confiscated
to the Knights Hospitallers; but our "most dear brother in Christ,
Philip the king, although he was not moved by avarice nor intended the
appropriation of the Templars' goods"[78] had to be compensated for the
expense of the prosecution. The treasure of the order failed to satisfy
the exorbitant claims of the crown, and the Hospitallers were said to
have been impoverished rather than enriched by the transfer.

The last act was yet to come. On 11th March 1314, a great stage was
erected in the _parvis_ of Notre Dame, and there, in chairs of state,
sat the pope's envoy, a cardinal, the archbishop of Sens, and other
officers of Christ's Church on earth. The Grand Master, Jacques de
Molay, and three preceptors were exposed to the people, their alleged
confession and the papal bull suppressing the order, and condemning them
to imprisonment for life, were read by the cardinal. But, to the
amazement of his Eminence, when the clauses specifying the enormities to
which the accused had confessed were being recited, the veteran Master
and the preceptor of Normandy rose, and in loud voices, heard of all the
people, repudiated the confession, and declared that they were wholly
guiltless, and ready to suffer death. They had not long to wait. Hurried
counsel was held with the king, and that same night Jacques de Molay
and the preceptor of Normandy were brought to a little island on the
Seine, known as the Isle of the Trellises,[79] and burnt to death,
protesting their innocence to the last.

"God pays debts, but not in money." An Italian chronicler relates that
the Master, while expiring in the flames, solemnly cited pope and king
to meet him before the judgment-seat of God. In less than forty days
Clement V. lay dead: in eight months Philip IV. was thrown by his horse
and went to his account. Seven centuries later the grisly fortress of
the Templars opened its portals, and the last of the unbroken line of
the kings of France, Louis XVI., was led forth to a bloody death.

Those who would read the details of the dramatic examination at Paris
before the papal commissioners, may do so in the minutes published by
Michelet.[80] The great historian declares that a study of the evidence
shook his belief in the Templars' innocence, and that if he were writing
his history again, he must needs alter his attitude towards them. Such
is not the impression left on the mind of the present writer. Moreover
it has been pointed out that there is a suspicious identity in the
various groups of testimonies, corresponding to the episcopal courts
whence such testimonies came. The royal officers, after the severest
search, could find not a single compromising document in the Templars'
houses: nothing but a few account books, works of devotion and copies of
St. Bernard's Rule. There were undoubtedly unworthy and vicious knights
among the fifteen thousand Templars belonging to the order, but the
charges brought against them are too monstrous for belief. The call
which they had responded to so nobly, however, had long ceased. They
were wealthy, proud and self-absorbed. Sooner or later they must
infallibly have gone the way of all organisations which have outlived
their use and purpose. It is the infamy of their violent destruction for
which pope and king must answer at the bar of history.




With the three sons of Philip who successively became kings of France,
the direct line of the Capetian dynasty ends: with the accession of
Philip VI. in 1328, the house of Valois opens the sad century of the
English wars--a period of humiliation and defeat, of rebellious and
treacherous princes, civil strife, famine and plague, illumined only by
the heroism of a peasant-girl, who, when king and nobles were sunk in
shameless apathy or sullen despair, saved France from utter extinction.
Pope after pope sought to make peace, but in vain: _Hui sont en paix,
demain en guerre_ ("to-day peace, to-morrow war") was the normal and
inevitable situation until the English had wholly subjected France or
the French driven the English to their natural boundary of the Channel.

Never since the days of Charlemagne had the French Monarchy been so
powerful as when the Valois came to the throne: in less than a
generation Crecy and Poitiers had made the English name a terror in
France, and a French king, John the Good, was led captive to England.
Once again, as in the dark Norman times, Paris rose and determined to
save herself. Etienne Marcel, provost of the merchants, whose statue now
stands near the site of the Maison aux Piliers, the old Hostel de Ville
which he bought for the citizens of Paris, became the leader of the
movement. The Dauphin,[81] who had assumed the title of
Lieutenant-General, convoked the States-General at Paris, but he was
forced by Marcel and his party to grant some urgent reforms, and a
Committee of National Defence was organised by the provost, who became
virtually dictator of Paris. The Dauphin fled to Compiègne to rally the
nobles. During the ensuing anarchy the poor, dumb, starving serfs of
France, in their hopeless misery and despair, rose in insurrection and
swept like a flame over the land. Froissart, who writes from the
distorted stories told him by the seigneurs, has woefully exaggerated
the atrocities of the _Jacquerie_.[82] There was much arson and pillage,
but barely thirty of the nobles are known to have perished. Of the
merciless vengeance taken by the seigneurs there is ample confirmation.
The wretched peasants were easily out-manoeuvred and killed like rats
by the mail-clad nobles and their men-at-arms; so many were butchered in
the market-place of Meaux that weariness stayed the arms of the
slaughterers, and fire completed their work. Twenty thousand are
estimated to have perished between the Seine and the Marne. Meanwhile
the Dauphin was marching on Paris: Marcel had seized the Louvre,
repaired and extended the wall of Paris, and raised an army. The provost
turned for support to the _Jacques_, and on their suppression essayed to
win over King Charles of Navarre, whose aid would decide the issue. Plot
and counterplot followed. On 31st July 1358, Marcel was inspecting the
gates of Paris, and at the Bastille[83] St. Denis ordered the keys to be
given up to the treasurer of the king of Navarre, who was with him. The
guards refused, and Jean Maillart, Marcel's sheriff and bosom friend,
leapt on his horse, rode to the Halles, and crying;--"_Au roi, au roi,
mont-joie St. Denis_," called the king's friends to arms, and hastened
to intercept the provost at the Bastille St. Antoine. Marcel was holding
the keys in his hand when they arrived. "Stephen, Stephen!" cried
Maillart, "what dost thou here at this hour?" "I am here," answered the
provost, "to guard the city whose governor I am." "_Par Dieu_," retorted
Maillart, "thou art here for no good," and turning to his followers,
said, "Behold the keys which he holds to the destruction of the city."
Each gave the other the lie. "Good people," protested Marcel, "why would
you do me ill? All I wrought was for your good as well as mine."
Maillart for answer smote at him, crying, "Traitor, _à mort, à mort_!"
There was a stubborn fight, and Maillart felled the provost by a blow
with his axe; six of the provost's companions were slain, and the
remainder haled to prison. Next day the Dauphin entered Paris in
triumph, and the popular leaders were executed on the Place de Grève.
The provost's body was dragged to the court of the church of St.
Catherine du Val des Ecoliers, where it lay naked that it might be seen
of all: after a long exposure it was cast into the Seine. All the
reforms were revoked by the king, but the remembrance of the time when
the merchants and people of Paris had dared to speak to their royal lord
face to face of justice and good government, was never obliterated.

Meanwhile the land was a prey to anarchy. Law there was none. Bands of
_routiers_, or organised brigands, English and French, ravaged and
pillaged without let or hindrance. Eustache d'Aubrecicourt, with 10,000
men-at-arms, raided Champagne at his will and held a dozen fortresses.
The peasants posted sentinels in the church towers while they worked in
the fields, and took refuge by night in boats moored in the rivers.

The English invasion of 1359 resembled a huge picnic or hunting
expedition. The king of England and his barons brought their hunters,
falcons, dogs and fishing tackle. They marched leisurely to
Bourg-la-Reine, less than two leagues from Paris, pillaged the
surrounding country and turned to Chartres, where tempest and sickness
forced Edward III. to come to terms. After the treaty of Bretigny, in
1360, the Parisians saw their good King John again, who was ransomed
for a sum equal to about ten million pounds of present-day value. The
memory of this and other enormous ransoms exacted by the English endured
for centuries, and when a Frenchman had paid his creditors he would
say,--_j'ai payé mes Anglais_.[84] ("I have paid my English.") A
magnificent reception was accorded to the four English barons who came
to sign the Peace at Paris. They were taken to the Sainte-Chapelle and
shown the fairest relics and richest jewels in the world, and each was
given a spine from the crown of thorns, which he deemed the noblest
jewel that could be presented to him.

In 1364, after sowing dragons' teeth in France by bestowing in appanage
the duchy of Burgundy on his youngest son Philip the Bold, King John the
Good returned to captivity and death at London in chivalrous atonement
for the breaking of parole by his second son, Louis of Anjou, who had
been interned at Calais as a hostage under the treaty of 1360. The
Dauphin, now Charles V., by careful statesmanship succeeded in restoring
order to the kingdom and to its finances[85] and in winning some
successes against the English. The dread companies of _routiers_, after
defeating and slaying Jacques de Bourbon and capturing one hundred
French chevaliers, were bribed by Pope Innocent VI. to pass into
Lombardy, or induced to follow du Guesclin, the national hero of the
wars against the English, in a crusade against Pedro the Cruel in Spain.

In 1370 the English camp fires were again seen outside Paris: Charles
refused battle and allowed them to ravage the suburbs with impunity.
Before the army left, an English knight swore he would joust at the
gates of the city, and spurred lance in hand against them. As he turned
to ride back, a big butcher lifted his pole-axe, smote the knight on the
neck and felled him; four others battered him to death, "their blows,"
says Froissart, "falling on his armour like strokes on an anvil."

By wise counsel rather than by war Charles won back much of his
dismembered country. He was a great builder and patron of the arts. He
employed Raymond of the Temple, his "beloved mason," to transform the
Louvre into a sumptuous palace with apartments for himself and his
queen, the princes of the blood and the officers of the royal household.
Each suite of apartments was furnished with a private chapel, those of
the king and queen being carved with much "art and patience." A gallery
was built for the minstrels and players of instruments. A great garden
was planted towards the Rue St. Honoré on the north, and the old wall of
Philip Augustus on the east, in which were an "Hôtel des Lions," or
collection of wild beasts, and a tennis court, where the king and
princes played. The palace accounts still exist, with details of
payments for "wine for the stone-cutters which the king our lord gave
them when he came to view the works." Jean Callow and Geoffrey le Febre
were paid for planting squares of strawberries, hyssop, sage, lavender,
balsam, violets, and for making paths, weeding and carrying away stones
and filth; others were paid for planting bulbs of lilies, double red
roses and other good herbs. The first royal library was founded by
Charles, and Peter the Cage-maker was employed to protect the library
windows from birds and other beasts by trellises of wire. An interesting
payment of six francs in gold, made to Jacqueline, widow of a mason
"because she is poor and helpless and her husband met his death in
working for the king at the Louvre," demonstrates that royal custom had
anticipated modern legislation.


Charles surrendered his palace in the Cité to the Parlement, and erected
an immense palace (known as the Hôtel St. Paul) in the east of Paris,
outside the old wall, where he could entertain the whole of the princes
of the blood and their suites. It was an irregular group of exquisite
Gothic mansions and chapels, furnished with sumptuous magnificence and
surrounded by tennis courts, falconries, menageries, delightful and
spacious gardens--a _hostel solennel des grands esbattements_ ("a solemn
palace of great delights.") This royal city within a city covered a vast
space, now roughly bounded by the Rue St. Paul, the river, the Rue de
l'Arsenal and the Rue St. Antoine. Charles VII. was the last king who
dwelt there; the buildings fell to ruin, and between 1519 and 1551 were
gradually sold. No vestige of this palace of delight now remains,
nothing but the memory of it in a few street names,--the streets of the
Fair Trellis, of the Lions of St. Paul, of the Garden of St. Paul, and
of the Cherry Orchard. To Charles V. is also due the beautiful chapel of
Vincennes and the completion of Etienne Marcel's wall. This fourth
enclosure, began at the Tour de Billi, which stood at the angle formed
by the Gare de l'Arsenal and the Seine, extended north by the Boulevard
Bourdon, the Place de la Bastille, and the line of the inner Boulevards
to the Porte St. Denis; it then turned south-west by the old Porte
Montmartre, the Place des Victoires and across the garden of the Palais
Royal to the Tour de Bois, opposite the present Pont du Carrousel. It
was fortified by a double moat and square towers. The south portion was
never begun. To defend the Porte St. Antoine, Charles laid the
foundation of the Bastille of sinister fame--ever a hateful memory to
the citizens, for it was completed by the royal provost when the provost
of the merchants had been suppressed by Charles VI. in 1383.

"Woe to the nation whose king is a child!" During the minority and reign
of Charles VI. France lay prostrate under a hail of evils that menaced
her very existence, and Paris was reduced to the profoundest misery and
humiliation. The breath had not left the old king's body before his
elder brother, the Count of Anjou, who was hiding in an adjacent room,
hastened to seize the royal treasure and the contents of the public
exchequer. No regent had been appointed, and the four royal dukes, the
young king's uncles of Anjou, Burgundy, Bourbon, and Berri, began to
strive for power.

In 1382 Anjou, who had been suffered to hold the regency, sought to
enforce an unpopular tax on the merchants of Paris. The people revolted,
armed themselves with the loaded clubs (_maillotins_) stored in the
Hôtel de Ville for use against the English, attacked the royal officers
and opened the prisons. The court temporised, promised to remit the tax
and to grant an amnesty; but with odious treachery caused the leaders of
the movement to be seized, put them in sacks and flung them at dead of
night into the Seine. The angry Parisians now barricaded their streets
and closed their gates against the king. Negotiations followed and by
payment of 100,000 francs to the Duke of Anjou the citizens were
promised immunity and the king and his uncles entered the city. But the
court nursed its vengeance, and after the victory over the Flemings at
Rosebecque the king and his uncles with a powerful force marched on
Paris. The Parisians, 20,000 strong, stood drawn up in arms at
Montmartre to meet him. They were asked who were their chiefs and if the
Constable de Clisson might enter Paris. "None other chiefs have we,"
they answered "than the king and his lords: we are ready to obey their
orders." "Good people of Paris," said the Constable on his arrival at
their camp, "what meaneth this? meseems you would fight against your
king." They replied that their purpose was but to show the king the
puissance of his good city of Paris. "'Tis well," said the Constable,
"if you would see the king return to your homes and put aside your

On the morrow, 11th January 1383, the king and his court, with 12,000
men-at-arms, appeared at the Porte St. Denis, and there stood the
provost of the merchants with the chief citizens in new robes, holding a
canopy of cloth of gold. The king, with a fierce glance, ordered them
back. The gates were unhinged and flung down: the royal army entered as
in a conquered city. A terrible vengeance ensued. The President of the
Parlement and other civil officers, with three hundred prominent
citizens, were arrested and cast into prison. In vain was the royal
clemency entreated by the Duchess of Orleans, the rector of the
university and chief citizens all clothed in black. The bloody diurnal
work of the executioner began and continued until a general pardon was
granted on March 1st on payment of an enormous fine. The liberties of
the city met the same fate. The provostship of the merchants, and all
the privileges of the Parisians, were suppressed, and the hateful taxes
reimposed. Never had the heel of despotism ground them down so


After cruelty and debauchery came madness. As Charles one sultry August
day was riding in the forest of le Mans he suddenly drew his sword,
wounded some of his escort and attacked the Duke of Orleans. The
demented king was seized by the Duke of Burgundy and carried senseless
and bound into the city. In 1393, when he had somewhat recovered, a
grand masked ball was given to celebrate the wedding of one of the
ladies of honour who was a widow. The marriage of a widow was always the
occasion of riotous mirth, and the king disguised himself and five of
his courtiers as satyrs. They were sewed up in tight-fitting vestments
of linen, which were coated with resin and pitch and covered with rough
tow; on their heads they wore hideous masks. While the ladies of the
court were celebrating the marriage the king and his companions
rushed in howling like wolves and indulged in the most uncouth gestures
and jokes. The Duke of Orleans, drawing too near with a torch to
discover their identity, set fire to the tow and in a second they were
enveloped in so many shirts of Nessus. Unable to fling off their blazing
dresses they madly ran hither and thither, suffering the most
excruciating agony and uttering piteous cries. The king happened to be
near the young Duchess of Berri who, with admirable presence of mind,
flung her robe over him and rescued him from the flames. One knight
saved himself by plunging into a large tub of water in the kitchen, one
died on the spot, two died on the second day, another lingered for three
days in awful torment. The horror of the scene[86] so affected Charles
that his madness returned more violently than ever.


The bitterness of the avuncular factions was now intensified. The House
of Burgundy by marriage and other means had grown to be one of the most
powerful in Europe and was at bitter enmity with the House of Orleans.
At the death of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, his son Jean sans
Peur, sought to assume his father's supremacy as well as his title: the
Duke of Orleans, strong in the queen's support, determined to foil his
purpose. Each fortified his hôtel in Paris and assembled an army.
Friends, however, intervened; they were reconciled, and in November 1407
the two dukes attended mass at the Church of the Grands Augustins, took
the Holy Sacrament and dined together. As Jean rose from table the Duke
of Orleans placed the Order of the Porcupine round his neck; swore
_bonne amour et fraternité_, and they kissed each other with tears of
joy. On 23rd November a forged missive was handed to the Duke of
Orleans, requiring his attendance on the queen at the Hôtel St. Paul,
whither he often went to visit her. He set forth, attended only by two
squires and five servants carrying torches. It was a sombre night, and
as the unsuspecting prince rode up the Rue Vieille du Temple behind his
little escort, humming a tune and playing with his glove, a band of
assassins fell upon him from the shadow of the postern La Barbette,[87]
crying "_à mort, à mort_," and he was hacked to death. Then issued from
a neighbouring house at the sign of Our Lady, a tall figure concealed in
a red cloak, lantern in hand, who gazed at the mutilated corpse. "_C'est
bien_," said he, "let's away." They set fire to the house to divert
attention and escaped. Four months before, Jean sans Peur had hired the
house on the pretext of storing provisions, and for two weeks a score of
assassins had been concealed there, biding their time. On the morrow,
Jean with the other princes went to asperse the dead body with holy
water in the church of the Blancs Manteaux, and as he drew nigh,
exclaiming against the foul murder, blood is said to have issued from
the wounds. At the funeral Jean held a corner of the pall, but his guilt
was an open secret, and though he braved it out for a time he was forced
to flee to his lands in Flanders for safety. In a few months, however,
he was back in force at Paris, and a doctor of the Sorbonne pleaded an
elaborate justification of the deed before the assembled princes,
nobles, clergy and citizens at the Hôtel St. Paul. The poor demented
king was made to declare publicly that he bore no ill-will to his dear
cousin of Burgundy and later, on the failure of a conspiracy of revenge
by the queen and the Orleans party, to grant full pardon for a deed
"committed for the welfare of the kingdom." The cutting of the Rue
Etienne Marcel has exposed the strong machicolated tower still bearing
the arms of Burgundy (two planes and a plumb line), which Jean sans Peur
built to fortify the Hôtel de Bourgogne, as a defence and refuge against
the Orleans faction and the people of Paris. The Orleans family had for
arms a knotted stick, with the device "_Je l'ennuis_": the Burgundian
arms with the motto, "_Je le tiens_," implied that the knotted stick was
to be planed and levelled.

The arrival of Jean sans Peur, and the fortification of his hôtel were
the prelude to civil war, for the Orleanists and their allies had
rallied to the Count of Armagnac, whose daughter the new Duke of Orleans
had married, and fortified themselves in their stronghold on the site
now occupied by the Palais Royal.

The Armagnacs, for so the Orleanists were now called, thirsted for
revenge, and for five years Paris was the scene of frightful atrocities
as each faction gained the upper hand and took a bloody vengeance on its
rivals. At length the infamous policy of an alliance with the English
was resorted to. The temptation was too great for the English king, and
in 1415 Henry V. met the French army, composed almost entirely of the
Armagnacs, at Agincourt, and inflicted on it a defeat more disastrous
than Crecy or Poitiers. The famous oriflamme of St. Denis passed from
history in that fatal year of 1415. The Count of Armagnac hurried to
Paris, seized the mad king and the Dauphin, and held the capital.

[Illustration: TOWER OF JEAN SANS PEUR.]

In 1417 the English returned under Henry V. The Burgundians had
promised neutrality, and the defeated Armagnacs were forced in their
need to "borrow[88] of the saints." But hateful memories clung to them
in Paris and they were betrayed. On the night of 29th May 1418, the son
of an ironmonger on the Petit Pont, who had charge of the wicket of the
Porte St. Germain, crept into his father's room and stole the keys while
he slept. The gate was then opened to the Burgundians, who seized the
person of the helpless and imbecile king. Some Armagnacs escaped,
bearing the dauphin with them, and the remainder were flung into prison.
The Burgundian partisans in the city, among whom was the powerful
corporation of the butchers and fleshers, now rose, and on Sunday, 14th
June, ran to the prisons.

Before dawn fifteen hundred Armagnacs were indiscriminately butchered
under the most revolting circumstances. The count himself perished, and
a strip of his skin was carried about Paris in mockery of the white
scarf of the Armagnacs. Jean sans Peur and Queen Isabella[89] entered
the city, amid the acclamation of the people, and soon after a second
massacre followed, in spite of Jean's efforts to prevent it. He was now
master of Paris, but the Armagnacs were swarming in the country around
and the English marching without let on the city. In these straits he
sought a reconciliation with the dauphin and his Armagnac counsellors at
Melun, on 11th July 1419. On 10th September a second conference was
arranged, and duke and dauphin, each with ten attendants, met in a
wicker enclosure on the bridge at Montereau. Jean doffed his cap and
knelt to the dauphin, but before he could rise was felled by a blow
from an axe and stabbed to death.[90] In 1521 a monk at Dijon showed the
skull of Jean sans Peur to Francis I., and pointing to a hole made by
the assassin's axe, said: "Sire, it was through this hole that the
English entered France."

On receipt of the news of his father's murder, the new Duke of Burgundy,
Philip le Bon, thirsting for vengeance, flung himself into the arms of
the English, and by the treaty of Troyes on May 20, 1420, Henry V. was
given a French princess to wife and the reversion of the crown of
France, which, after Charles' death, was to be united ever more to that
of England. But the French crown never circled Henry's brow: on August
31, 1422, he lay dead at Vincennes. He was buried with great pomp in the
royal abbey of St. Denis, leaving an infant son of nine months to
inherit the dual monarchy. Within a few weeks of Henry's death the
hapless king of France was entombed under the same roof; a royal herald
cried "for God's pity on the soul of the most high and most excellent
Charles, king of France, our natural sovereign lord," and in the next
breath hailed "Henry of Lancaster, by the grace of God, king of France
and of England, our sovereign lord." All the royal officers reversed
their maces, wands and swords as a token that their functions were at an
end. At the next festival the Duke of Bedford was seen in the Sainte
Chapelle of the palace of St. Louis, exhibiting the crown of thorns to
the people as Regent of France, and a statue of Henry V. of England was
raised in the great hall, following on the line of the kings of France
from Pharamond to Charles.



The occupation of Paris by the English was the darkest hour in French
history, yet amid the universal misery and dejection the treaty of
Troyes was hailed with joy. When the two kings entered Paris after its
signature, the whole way from the Porte St. Denis to Notre Dame was
filled with people crying, "_Noël, noël!_"

The university, the parlement, the queen-mother, the whole of North
France, from Brittany and Normandy to Flanders, from the Channel to the
line of the Loire, accepted the situation, and the Duke of Burgundy,
most powerful of the royal princes, was a friend of the English. Yet a
few French hearts beat true. While the regent Duke of Bedford was
entering Paris, a handful of knights unfurled the royal banner at Melun,
crying--"Long live King Charles, seventh of the name, by the grace of
God king of France!" And what a pitiful incarnation of national
independence was this to whom the devoted sons of France were now called
to rally!--a feeble youth of nineteen, indolent, licentious, mocked at
by the triumphant English as the "little king of Bourges."

The story of the resurrection of France at the call of an untutored
village girl is one of the most enthralling dramas of history. When all
men had despaired; when the cruelty, ambition and greed of the princes
of France had wrought her destruction; when the miserable dauphin at
Chinon was prepared to seek safety by an ignominious flight to Spain or
Scotland; when Orleans, the key to the southern provinces, was about to
fall into English hands--the means of salvation were revealed in the
ecstatic visions of a simple peasant maid. With that divine inspiration
vouchsafed alone to faith and fervent love, she saw with piercing
insight the essential things to be done. The siege of Orleans must be
raised and the dauphin anointed king at Rheims. "The originality of the
Maid," says Michelet, "and the cause of her success was her good sense
amid all her enthusiasm and exaltation." We may not here narrate the
story of those miraculous three months of the year 1429 (27th April-16th
July), which saw the relief of Orleans, the victories of Jargeau, of
Patay (where invincible Talbot was made prisoner), of the surrender of
ill-omened Troyes and of the solemn coronation at Rheims. Jeanne deemed
her mission over after Rheims, but to her ill-hap was persuaded to
follow the royal army after the retreat of the English from Senlis, and
on 23rd August she occupied St. Denis. She declared at her trial that
her voices told her to remain at St. Denis, but that the lords made her
attack Paris. On the 8th September the assault was made, but it was
foiled by the king's apathy, the incapacity and bitter jealousy of his
counsellors, and the action of double-faced Burgundy. In the afternoon
Jeanne, while sounding the depth of the fosse with her lance,[91] was
wounded by an arrow in the thigh. She remained till late evening, when
she was carried away to St. Denis, at whose shrine she hung up her
arms--her mysterious sword from St. Catherine de Fierbois and her banner
of pure white, emblazoned with the fleur-de-lys and the figure of the
Saviour, with the device "Jesu Maria."


Six months later, while Charles was sunk in sloth at the château of
Sully, Jeanne was captured by the Burgundians at the siege of Compiègne,
and her enemies closed on her like bloodhounds. The university and the
Inquisition wrangled for her body, but English gold bought her from her
Burgundian captors and sent her to a martyr's death at Rouen. Those
who would read the sad record of her trial may do so in the pages of Mr
Douglas Murray's translation of the minutes of the evidence, and may
assist in imagination at the eighteen days' forensic baiting of the
hapless child (she was but nineteen years of age), whose lucid
simplicity broke through the subtle web of theological chicanery which
was spun to entrap her by the most cunning of the Sorbonne doctors.

A summary of Jeanne's answers was sent to "Our Mother, the University of
Paris." The condemnation was a foregone conclusion[92] and after a
forced retractation, the virgin saviour of France was led to her doom in
the market-place of Rouen. As she passed the lines of English soldiers,
their eyes flashing fierce hatred upon her, a cry escaped her, "O Rouen,
Rouen, must I then die here?" With her last breath she protested that
her voices had not deceived her and were of God; and calling on "Jesus!"
her head sank in the flames. "We are lost," said an English spectator;
"we have burnt a saint!"

Some contemporary letters from Venetian merchants in the cities of
France have recently been published, which give valuable testimony to
the sympathy evoked among foreign residents by the career of Jeanne the
Maid. To them she was a _zentil anzolo_, "a gentle angel sent of God to
save the good land of France, the most noble country in the world, which
having purged its sins and pride God snatched from the brink of utter
destruction. For even as by a woman, our Lady St. Mary, He saved the
human race, so by this young maiden pure and spotless He hath saved the
fairest pearl of Christendom."

"The English burnt her," says one of the merchants, writing from Bruges,
"thinking that fortune would turn in their favour, but may it please
Christ the Lord that the contrary befall them!" And so in truth it
happened. Disaster after disaster wrecked the English cause; the Duke of
Bedford died, Philip of Burgundy and Charles were reconciled and Queen
Isabella went to a dishonoured grave. The English were driven out of
Paris, and in 1453, of all the "large and ample empery" of France, won
at the cost of a hundred years of bloodshed and cruel devastation, a
little strip of land at Calais and Guines alone remained to the English
crown. Charles, who with despicable cowardice had suffered the heroic
Maid to be done to death by the English without a thought of
intervention, was moved to call for a tardy reparation of the atrocious
injustice at Rouen; and a quarter of a century after the Te Deum sung in
Notre Dame for her capture, another, a very different scene, was
witnessed in the cathedral. "The case for her rehabilitation," says Mr
Murray, "was solemnly opened there, and the mother and brothers of the
Maid came before the court to present their humble petition for a
revision of her sentence, demanding only 'the triumph of truth and
justice.' The court heard the request with some emotion. When Isabel
d'Arc threw herself at the feet of the Commissioners, showing the papal
rescript and weeping aloud, so many joined in the petition that at last,
we are told, it seemed that one great cry for justice broke from the

The story of Paris under the English is a melancholy one. Despite the
rigid justice and enlightened policy of Bedford's regency they failed to
win the affection of the Parisians. Rewards to political friends,
punishments and confiscations inflicted on the disaffected, the riotous
and homicidal conduct of some of the English garrison, the depression in
commerce and depreciation of property brought their inevitable
consequences--a growing hatred of the English name.[93] The chapter of
Notre Dame was compelled to sell the gold vessels from the treasury.
Hundreds of houses were abandoned by their owners, who were unable to
meet the charges upon them. In 1427 by a royal instrument the rent of
the Maison des Singes was reduced from twenty-six livres to fourteen,
"seeing the extreme diminution of rents."


Some curious details of life in Paris under the English have come down
to us. By a royal pardon granted to Guiot d'Eguiller, we learn that he
and four other servants of the Duke of Bedford, and of our "late very
dear and very beloved aunt the Duchess of Bedford whom God pardon," were
drinking one night at ten o'clock in a tavern where hangs the sign of
_L'Homme Armé_.[94] Hot words arose between them and some other
tipplers, to wit, Friars Robert, Peter and William of the Blancs
Manteaux, who were disguised as laymen and wearing swords. Friar Robert
lost his temper and struck at the servants with his naked sword. The
friar, owing to the strength of the wine or to inexperience in the use
of secular weapons, cut off the leg of a dog instead of hitting his man;
the friars then ran away, pursued by three of the servants--Robin the
Englishman, Guiot d'Eguiller and one Guillaume. The fugitive friars took
refuge in a deserted house in the Rue du Paradis (now des Francs
Bourgeois), and threw stones at their pursuers. There was a fight,
during which Guillaume lost his stick and snatching Guiot's sword struck
at Friar Robert through the door of the house. He only gave one "_cop_,"
but it was enough, and there was an end of Friar Robert.

A certain Gilles, a _povre homme laboureur_, went to amuse himself at a
game of tennis in the hostelry kept by Guillaume Sorel, near the Porte
St. Honoré, and fell a-wrangling with Sorel's wife concerning some lost
tennis balls. Madame Sorel clutched him by the hair and tore out some
handfuls. Gilles seized her by the hood, disarranged her coif, so that
it fell about her shoulders, "and in his anger cursed God our Creator."
This came to the bishop's ears, and Gilles was cast for blasphemy into
the bishop's oven, as the episcopal prison was called, where he lay in
great misery. He was examined and released on promising to offer a wax
candle of two pounds' weight before the image of our Lady of Paris at
the entrance of the choir of Notre Dame.

Many of the religious foundations had suffered by the wars, for in 1426
the glovers of Paris were authorised to re-establish the guild of the
blessed St. Anne, founded by some good people, smiths and ironmongers,
which during the wars and mutations of the last twenty years had come to
an end. In 1427, "our well-beloved, the money-changers of the Grand Pont
in our good town of Paris were permitted to found a guild in the church
of St. Bartholomew in honour of our Creator and His very glorious Mother
and St. Matthew their patron." In 1430 was granted the humble
supplication of the shoemakers, who desired to found a confraternity to
celebrate mass in the chapel at Notre Dame, dedicated to "the blessed
and glorious martyrs, Monseigneur Crispin the Great, and Monseigneur
Crispin the Less, who in this life were shoemakers."


The fifteen years of English rule at Paris came to a close in 1446.
In 1443 a goldsmith was at _déjeuner_ with a baker and a shoemaker, and
they fell a-talking of the state of trade, of the wars and of the
poverty of the people of Paris. The goldsmith[95] grumbled loudly and
said that his craft was the poorest of all; people must have shoes and
bread, but none could afford to employ a goldsmith. Then, thinking no
evil, he said that good times would never return in Paris until there
were a French king, the university full again, and the Parlement obeyed
as in former times. Whereupon Jean Trolet, the shoemaker, added that
things could not last in their present state, and that if there were
only five hundred men who would agree to begin a revolution, they would
soon find thousands leagued with them. The general unrest which this
incident illustrates soon burst forth in plot after plot, and on 13th
April, 1446, the Porte St. Jacques was opened by some citizens to the
Duke of Richement, Constable of France, who, with 2000 knights and
squires, entered the city and, to the cry of _Ville gagnée_! the
fleur-de-lys waved again from the ramparts of Paris. The English
garrison under Lord Willoughby fortified themselves in the Bastille of
St. Antoine but capitulated after two days. Bag and baggage, out they
marched, circled the walls as far as the Louvre, and embarked for Rouen
amid the execrations of the people. Never again did an English army
enter Paris until the allies marched in after Waterloo in 1815.



Six centuries have failed to efface from the memory of the French people
the misery and devastation wrought by the hundred years' wars, as
travellers in rural France will know. Paris saw little of Charles who,
after the temporary activity excited by the expulsion of the English,
had sunk into his habitual torpor, and his bondage to women. In 1461 the
wretched monarch, morbid and half-demented, died of a malignant disease,
all the time haunted by fears of poison and filial treachery. The people
named him Charles _le bien servi_ (the well-served), for small indeed
was the praise due to him for the great deliverance.

When the new king, Louis XI., quitted his asylum at the Burgundian court
to be crowned at Rheims and to repair to St. Denis, he was shocked by
the contrast between the rich cities and plains of Flanders and the
miserable aspect of the country he traversed--ruined villages, fields
that were so many deserts, starving creatures clothed in rags, and
looking as if they had just escaped from dungeons. The "Universal
Spider," as the Duke of Burgundy called Louis, was ever on the move
about France, riding on his mule from dawn to eve. "Our king," says De
Comines, "used to dress so ill that worse could not be--often wearing
bad cloth and a shabby hat with a leaden image stuck in it." When he
entered Abbeville with the magnificent Duke of Burgundy, the people said
"_Benedicite!_ is that a king of France? Why, his horse and clothes
together are not worth twenty francs!" A Venetian ambassador was amazed
to see the most mighty and most Christian king take his dinner in a
tavern on the market-place of Tours, after hearing mass in the

It is not within our province to describe in detail the successful
achievement of Louis' policy of concentrating the whole government in
himself as absolute sovereign of France by the overthrow of feudalism
and the subjection of the great nobles with their almost royal power and
state. His indomitable will, his consummate patience, his profound
knowledge of human motives and passions, his cynical indifference to
means, make him one of the most remarkable of the kings of France. In
1465, menaced by a coalition of nobles, the so-called League of the
Public Good, Louis hastened to the capital. Letters expressing his
tender affection for his dear city of Paris preceded him--he was coming
to confide to them his queen and hoped-for heir; rather than lose his
Paris, which he loved beyond all cities of the world, he would sacrifice
half his kingdom. But the Parisians at first were sullen and would not
be wooed, for they remembered his refusal to accord them some privileges
granted to other cities. The university declined to arm her scholars,
Church and Parlement were hostile. The idle, vagabond _clercs_ of the
Palais and the Cité composed coarse gibes and satirical songs and
ballads against his person. Louis, however, set himself with his
insinuating grace of speech to win the favour of the Parisians. He chose
six members from the Burgesses, six from the Parlement and six from the
university, to form his Council. With daring confidence, he decided to
arm Paris. A levy of every male able to bear arms between sixteen and
sixty years of age was made, and the citizen army was reviewed near St.
Antoine des Champs, in the presence of the king and queen. From 60,000
to 80,000 men, half of them well-armed, marched past, with sixty-seven
banners of the trades guilds, not counting those of the municipal
officers, the Parlement and the university. The nobles were checkmated,
and they were glad to accede to a treaty which gave them ample spoils
and Louis, time to recover himself. The "Public Good" was barely

The king refused to occupy the palace of the Louvre and chose to dwell
in the new Hôtel des Tournelles, near the Porte St. Antoine, built for
the Duke of Bedford and subsequently presented to Louis when Dauphin by
his royal father; for thither a star led him one evening as he left
Notre Dame. Often would he issue _en bourgeois_ from the Tournelles to
sup with his gossips in Paris.

The institution of the mid-day Angelus, in 1472, was due to Louis'
devotion to the Virgin. He ordained that the great bell of Notre Dame
should be rung at noon as a signal that the good people of Paris should
recite the Ave Maria. When in Paris scarcely a day passed without the
king being seen at mass, and at leaving he always gave an offering.

In 1475, Louis' old enemy, the Duke of Burgundy, was seeking an alliance
with Edward IV. of England, and once more a mighty army entered France
to reassert the claims of the English kings to the French crown. Louis,
by his usual policy of flattery and bribery, succeeded in leading Edward
to negotiate. If he had had to meet in the flesh the lion rampant on the
English king's escutcheon, he could not have taken ampler precautions. A
bridge was built over the Somme, near Amiens, "and in the middle thereof
was a strong trellis of wood such as is made for cages of lions, and the
holes between the bars were no larger than a man could put his arm
through." On either side of this cage the monarchs and a score of
courtiers met and conversed. Louis had divided his enemies; each in turn
was cajoled and bribed, and the "Hucksters' Peace" was concluded.


"When King Louis," says De Comines, "retired from the interview he spake
with me by the way and said he found the English king too ready to visit
Paris, which thing was not pleasing to him. The king was a handsome man
and very fond of women; he might find some affectionate mistress there,
who would speak him so many fair words that she would make him desire to
return; his predecessor had come too often to Paris and Normandy, and he
did not like his company this side the sea, but beyond the sea he was
glad to have him for friend and brother." De Comines was informed next
day by some English that the peace had been made by the Holy Ghost, for
a white dove was seen resting on the king of England's tent during the
interview, and for no noise soever would she move; "but," said a
sceptical Gascon gentleman, "it simply happened to have rained during
the day, and the dove settled on the tent which was highest to dry her
wings in the sun."

Louis had long desired to punish the Count of St. Pol for treachery, and
as a result of a treaty with Charles of Burgundy, in 1475, had him at
length in the Bastille. Soon on a scaffold in the Place de Grève his
head rolled from his body, and a column of stone twelve feet high
erected where he fell, gave terrible warning to traitorous princes,
however mighty; for the count was Constable of France, the king's
brother-in-law, a member of the Imperial House of Luxemburg, and
connected with many of the sovereign families of Europe.

Two years later another noble victim, the Duke of Nemours, fell into the
king's power and saw the inside of one of Louis' iron cages in the
Bastille. The king, who had learnt that the chains had been removed from
the prisoner's legs, commanded his jailer not to let him budge from his
cage except to be tortured (_gehenné_) and the duke wrote a piteous
letter, praying for clemency and signing himself _le pauvre Jacques_. In
vain: him, too, the headsman's axe sent to his account.

The news of the humiliating Peace of Peronne, after the king had
committed the one great folly of his career by gratuitously placing
himself in Charles the Bold's power,[96] was received by the Parisians
with many gibes. The royal herald proclaimed at sound of trumpet by the
crossways of Paris: "Let none be bold or daring enough to say anything
opprobrious against the Duke of Burgundy, either by word of mouth, by
writing, by signs, paintings, roundelays, ballads, songs or gestures."
On the same day a commission seized all the magpies and jackdaws in
Paris, whether caged or otherwise, which were to be registered according
to their owners, with all the pretty words that the said birds could
repeat and that had been taught them: the pretty word that these
chattering birds had been taught to say was "Peronne." Louis' abasement
at Peronne was, however, amply avenged by the battle of Granson, when
the mighty host of "invincible" Charles was overwhelmed by the Switzers
in 1476. A year later, the whole fabric of Burgundian ambition was
shattered and the great duke lay a mutilated and frozen corpse before
the walls of Nancy. Louis' joy at the destruction of his enemy was
boundless. The great provinces of Burgundy, of Anjou, of Maine,
Provence, Alençon and Guienne soon fell under the sovereignty of France,
whose boundaries now touched the Alps. But in the very culmination of
his success Louis was struck down by paralysis, and though he rallied
for a time the end was near. Haunted by fear of treachery, he immured
himself in the gloomy fortress of Plessis. The saintly Francesco da
Calabria, relics from Florence, from Rome, the Holy Oil from Rheims,
turtles from Cape Verde Islands--all were powerless; the arch dissembler
must now face the ineluctable prince of the dark realms, who was not to
be bribed or cajoled even by kings.

When at last the king took to his bed, his physician, Jacques Cottier,
told him that most surely his hour was come. Louis made his confession,
gave much political counsel and some orders to be observed by _le Roi_,
as he now called his son, and spoke, says De Comines, "as dryly as if he
had never been ill. And after so many fears and suspicions Our Lord
wrought a miracle and took him from this miserable world in great health
of mind and understanding. Having received all the sacraments and
suffering no pain and always speaking to within a paternoster of his
death, he gave orders for his sepulture. May the Lord have his soul and
receive him in the realm of Paradise!"

It was in Louis' reign that the art of printing was introduced into
Paris. As early as 1458 the master of the mint had been sent to Mainz to
learn something of the new art, but without success. In 1463, Fust and
his partner, Schöffer, had brought some printed books to Paris, but the
books were confiscated and the partners were driven out of the city,
owing to the jealousy of the powerful corporation of the scribes and
booksellers, who enjoyed a monopoly from the Sorbonne of the sale of
books in Paris; and in 1474 Louis paid an indemnity of 2500 crowns to
Schöffer for the confiscation of his books and for the trouble he had
taken to introduce printed books into his capital. In 1470, at the
invitation of two doctors of the Sorbonne, Guillaume Fichet and Jean de
la Puin, Ulmer Gering of Constance and two other Swiss printers set up a
press near Fichet's rooms in the Sorbonne. In 1473 a press was at work
at the sign of the Soleil d'Or (Golden Sun), in the Rue St. Jacques,
under the management of two Germans, Peter Kayser, Master of Arts, and
John Stohl, assisted by Ulmer Gering. In 1483 the last-named removed to
the Rue de la Sorbonne, where the doctors granted to him and his new
partner, Berthold Rumbolt of Strassburg, a lease for the term of their
lives. They retained their sign of the Soleil d'Or, which long endured
as a guarantee of fine printing. The earliest works had been printed in
beautiful Roman type, but unable to resist the favourite Gothic
introduced from Germany, Gering was led to adopt it towards the year
1480, and the Roman was soon superseded. From 1480 to 1500 we meet with
many French printers' names: Antoine Vérard, Du Pré, Cailleau,
Martineau, Pigouchet--clearly proving that the art had then been
successfully transplanted.

The re-introduction of Roman characters about 1500 was due to the famous
house of the Estiennes, whose admirable editions of the Latin and Greek
classics are the delight of bibliophiles. Robert Estienne was wont to
hang proof sheets of his Greek and Latin classics outside his shop,
offering a reward to any passer-by who pointed out a misprint or corrupt
reading. Their famous house was the meeting-place of scholars and
patrons of literature. Francis I. and his sister Margaret of Angoulême,
authoress of the Heptameron, were seen there, and legend says that the
king was once kept waiting by the scholar-printer while he finished
correcting a proof. All the Estienne household, even the children,
conversed in Latin, and the very servants are said to have grown used to
it. In 1563 Francis I. remitted 30,000 livres of taxes to the printers
of Paris, as an act of grace to the professors of an art that seemed
rather divine than human. But in spite of royal favour printing was a
poor career. The second Henry Estienne, who composed a Greek-Latin
lexicon, died in poverty at a hospital in Lyons; the last of the family,
the third Robert Estienne, met a similar miserable end at the Hôtel Dieu
in Paris. So great was the re-action in the university against the
violence of the Lutherans and the daring of the printers, that in 1534
all the presses were ordered to be closed. In 1537 no book was allowed
to be printed without permission of the Sorbonne, and in 1556 an order
was made, it is said at the instance of Diane de Poitiers, that a copy
in vellum of every book printed by royal privilege should be deposited
at the royal library. After Gering's death the forty presses then
working in Paris were reduced to twenty-four, in order that every
printer might have sufficient work to live by and not be tempted by
poverty to print prohibited books or execute cheap and inferior



The advent of the printing-press and the opening of a Greek lectureship
by Gregory Tyhernas and Hermonymus of Sparta at the Sorbonne warns us
that we are at the end of an epoch. With the accession of Charles VIII.
and the beginning of the Italian wars a new era is inaugurated. Gothic
architecture had reached its final development and structural
perfection, in the flowing lines of the flamboyant style.[97] Painting
and sculpture, both in subject, matter and style, assume a new aspect.
The diffusion of ancient literature and the discovery of a new world,
open wider horizons to men's minds, and human thought and human activity
are directed towards other, and not always nobler, ideals. Mediævalism
passes away and Paris begins to clothe herself in a new vesture of

The Paris of the fifteenth century was a triple city of narrow, crooked,
unsavoury streets, of overhanging timbered houses, "thick as ears of
corn in a wheat-field," from which emerged the innumerable spires and
towers of her churches and palaces and colleges. In the centre was the
legal and ecclesiastical Cité, with its magnificent Palais de Justice;
its cathedral and a score of fair churches enclosed in the island, which
resembled a great ship moored to the banks of the Seine by five bridges
all crowded with houses. One of the most curious characteristics of Old
Paris was the absence of any view of the river, for a man might traverse
its streets and bridges without catching a glimpse of the Seine.

The portal of the Petit Châtelet at the end of the Petit Pont opened on
the university and learned district on the south bank of the Seine, with
its fifty colleges and many churches clustering about the slopes of the
mount of St. Genevieve, which was crowned by the great Augustine abbey
and church founded by Clovis. Near by stood the two great religious
houses and churches of the Dominicans and Franciscans (Jacobins and
Cordeliers), the Carthusian monastery and its scores of little gardens,
the lesser monastic buildings and, outside the walls, the vast
Benedictine abbatial buildings and suburb of St. Germain des Prés, with
its stately church of three spires, its fortified walls, its pillory and
its permanent lists, where judicial duels were fought. On the north bank
lay the busy, crowded industrial and commercial district known as the
Ville, with its forty-four churches, the hôtels of the rich merchants
and bankers, the fortified palaces of the nobles, all enclosed by the
high walls and square towers of Charles the Fifth's fortifications, and
defended at east and west by the Bastille of St. Antoine and the Louvre.
To the east stood the Hôtel St. Paul, a royal city within a city, with
its manifold princely dwellings and fair gardens and pleasaunces sloping
down to the Seine; hard by to the north was the Duke of Bedford's Hôtel
des Tournelles, with its memories of the English domination. At the
west, against the old Louvre, were, among others, the hôtels of the
Constable of Bourbon and the Duke of Alençon, and out in the fields
beyond, the smoking kilns of the Tuileries (tile factories).

[Illustration: RUE ROYALE.]

[Illustration: TOWER OF ST. JACQUES.]

North and east and west of the municipal centre, the Maison des Piliers,
or old Hôtel de Ville on the Place de Grève, was a maze of streets
filled with the various crafts of Paris. The tower of St. Jacques de la
Boucherie, as yet unfinished, emerged from the butchers' and skinners'
shops and slaughter-houses, which at the Rue des Lombards met the
clothiers and furriers; the cutlers and the basketmakers were busy in
streets now swept away to give place to the Avenue Victoria. Painters,
glass-workers and colour merchants, grocers and druggists, made
bright and fragrant the Rue de la Verrerie, weavers' shuttles rattled in
the Rue de la Tixanderie (now swallowed up in the Rue de Rivoli);
curriers and tanners plied their evil-smelling crafts in the Rue (now
Quai) de la Mégisserie, and bakers crowded along the Rue St. Honoré. The
Rue des Juifs sheltered the ancestral traffic of the children of
Abraham. At the foot of the Pont au Change, on which were the shops of
the goldsmiths and money-lenders, stood the grim thirteenth-century
fortress of the Châtelet, the municipal guardhouse and prison; further
on stood the episcopal prison, or _Four de l'Evêque_ (the bishop's
oven). Round the Châtelet was a congeries of narrow, crooked lanes,
haunts of ill-fame, where robbers lurked and vice festered. A little to
the north were the noisy market-place of the Halles and the cemetery of
the Innocents with its piles of skulls, and its vaulted arcade painted
(1424) with the Dance of Death. Further north stood the immense abbey of
St. Martin in the Fields, with its cloister and gardens and, a little to
the west, the grisly fortress of the Knights-Templars. This is the Paris
conjured from the past with such magic art by Victor Hugo in "Notre
Dame," and gradually to be swept away in the next centuries by the
Renaissance, pseudo-classic and Napoleonic builders and destroyers,
until to-day scarcely a wrack is left behind.

With the Italian campaigns of Charles VIII. and of the early
Valois-Orleans kings, France enters the arena of European politics,
wrestles with the mighty Emperor Charles V. and embarks on a career of
transalpine conquest. But in Italy, conquering France was herself
conquered by the charm of Italian art, Italian climate and Italian
landscape. When Charles VIII. returned from his expedition to Naples he
brought with him a collection of pictures, tapestry, and sculptures in
marble and porphyry, that weighed thirty-five tons; by him and his
successors Italian builders, Domenico da Cortona and Fra Giocondo, were
employed. The latter rebuilt the Petit Pont and after the destruction of
the last wooden Pont Notre Dame in 1499--when the whole structure, with
its houses and shops, fell with a fearful crash into the river--he was
employed to replace it with a stone bridge, which was completed in 1507.
This, too, was lined with tall, gabled houses of stone, seventeen each
side, their façades decorated with medallions of the kings of France,
which alternated with fine Renaissance statues of male and female
figures bearing baskets of fruit and flowers on their heads. These
houses were the first in Paris to be numbered, odd numbers on one side,
even on the other, and were the first to be demolished when, on the eve
of the Revolution, Louis XVI. ordered the bridge to be cleared.

[Illustration: PONT NOTRE DAME.]

Worthy Friar Giocondo wrought well, for the bridge still exists, though
refaced and altered. Louis XII., with his own hand, entreated Leonardo
da Vinci to come to France, and his great minister, the Cardinal of
Amboise, employed Solario at the château of Gaillon.[98] But the French
Renaissance is indissolubly associated with Francis I., who in 1515
inherited a France welded into a compact[99] and absolute monarchy,
inhabited by a prosperous and loyal people, for the twelfth Louis had
been a good and wise ruler, who to the amazement of his people returned
to them the balance of a tax levied to meet the cost of the Genoese
Expedition, which had been overestimated, saying, "It will be more
fruitful in their hands than in mine." Commerce had so expanded that it
was said that for every merchant seen in Paris in former times there
were, in his reign, fifty. Louis introduced the cultivation of maize and
the mulberry into France, and so rigid was his justice that poultry ran
about the open fields without risk. It was the accrued wealth of his
reign, and the love inspired by "Louis, father of his people,"[100] that
supported the magnificence, the luxury and the extravagance of Francis
I., the patron of the Italian Renaissance. The architectural creations
of the new art were first seen in Touraine, in the royal palaces of
Blois and Chambord, and other princely and noble chateaux along the
luscious and sunny valleys of the Loire. Italian architecture was late
in making itself felt in Paris, where the native art made stubborn



The story of the state entry of Francis I. into Paris after the death of
Louis XII. is characteristic. Clothed in a gorgeous suit of armour and
mounted on a barbed charger, accoutred in white and cloth of silver, the
young king would not remain under the royal canopy, but pricked his
steed and made it prance and rear that he might display his
horsemanship, his fine figure and his dazzling costume before the
ladies. "Born between two adoring women," says Michelet, "the king was
all his life a spoilt child." Money flowed through his hands like
water[101] to gratify his ambition, his passions and his pleasures.
Doubtless his interviews with Da Vinci at Amboise, where he spent much
of his time in the early years of his reign, fired that enthusiasm for
art, especially for painting, which never wholly left him; for the
veteran artist, although old and paralysed in the right hand, was
otherwise in possession of all his incomparable faculties.

[Illustration: CHAPEL, HÔTEL DE CLUNY.]

The question as to the existence of an indigenous school of painting
before the Italian artistic invasion is still a subject of acrimonious
discussion among critics; there is none, however, as to its existence in
the plastic arts. The old French tradition died hard, and not before it
had stamped upon Italian Renaissance architecture the impress of its
native genius and adapted it to the requirements of French life and
climate. The Hôtel de Cluny, finished in 1490, still remains to
exemplify the beauty of the native French domestic architecture modified
by the new style. The Hôtel de Ville, designed by Dom. da Cortona and
submitted to Francis in 1532, is dominated by the French style, and it
was not until nearly a century after the first Italian Expedition that
the last Gothic builders were superseded. The fine Gothic church of St.
Merri was begun as late as 1520 and not finished till 1612, and the
transitional churches of St. Etienne and St. Eustache remind one, by the
mingling of Gothic and Renaissance features, of the famous metamorphosis
of Agnel and Cianfa in Dante's Inferno, and one is tempted to exclaim,
_Ome come ti muti! Vedi che già non sei nè duo nè uno!_[102]

[Illustration: WEST DOOR OF ST. MERRI.]


After the death of Da Vinci Francis never succeeded in retaining a
first-rate painter in his service. Andrea del Sarto and Paris Bordone
did little more than pay passing visits, and the famous school of
Fontainebleau was founded by Rosso and Primaticcio, two decadent
followers of Michel Angelo. The adventures of that second-rate artist
and first-rate bully, Benvenuto Cellini, at Paris, form one of the most
piquant episodes in artistic autobiography. After a gracious welcome
from the king he was offered an annual retaining fee of three hundred
crowns. He at once dismissed his two apprentices and left in a towering
rage, only returning on being offered the same appointments that had
been enjoyed by Leonardo da Vinci--seven hundred crowns a year, and
payment for every finished work. The Petit Tour de Nesle was assigned to
Cellini and his pupils as a workshop, the king assuring him that force
would be needed to evict the possessor, adding, "Take great care you are
not assassinated." On complaining to the king of the difficulties he met
with and the insults offered to him on attempting to gain possession, he
was answered: "If you are the Benvenuto I have heard of, live up to your
reputation; I give you full leave." Cellini took the hint, armed
himself, his servants and two apprentices, and frightened the occupants
and rival claimants out of their wits. It was at this Tour de Nesle that
the king paid Cellini a surprise visit with his mistress Madame
d'Estampes, his sister Margaret of Valois, the Dauphin and his wife,
Catherine de' Medici, the Cardinal of Lorraine, Henry II. of Navarre,
and a numerous train of courtiers. The artist and his merry men were at
work on the famous silver statue of Jupiter for Fontainebleau, and amid
the noise of the hammering the king entered unperceived. Cellini had the
torso of the statue in his hand, and at that moment a French lad who had
caused him some little displeasure had felt the weight of the master's
foot, which sent him flying against the king. But Cellini had done a bad
day's work by violently evicting a servant of Madame d'Estampes from the
Tower, and the injured lady and Primaticcio, her _protégé_, decided to
work his ruin. When Cellini arrived at Fontainebleau with the statue,
the king ordered it to be placed in the grand gallery decorated by
Rosso. Primaticcio had just arranged there the casts which he had been
commissioned to bring from Rome, and Cellini saw what was meant--his
own work was to be eclipsed by the splendour of the masterpieces of
ancient art. "Heaven help me!" cried he, "this is indeed to fall against
the pikes!" Now the god held the globe of the earth in the left hand,
the thunderbolt in the right. Cellini contrived to thrust a portion of a
large wax candle as a torch between the flames of the bolt, and set the
statue up on its gilded pedestal. Madame entertained the king late at
table, hoping that he would either forget or see the work in a bad
light; but when the king entered the gallery late at night, followed by
his courtiers, "which by God's grace was my salvation," says Cellini,
the statue was illuminated by a flood of light from the torch which so
enhanced its beauty that the king was ravished with delight, and
expressed himself in ecstatic praise, declaring the statue to be more
beautiful and more marvellous than any of the antique casts around. His
enemies were thus discomfited, and on Madame d'Estampes endeavouring to
depreciate the work, she was grossly mocked by the artist in a very
characteristic and quite untranscribable way. Benvenuto was more than
ever patronised by the king, who did him the great honour of accosting
him as _mon ami_, and approving his scheme for the fortification of
Paris. The artist often remembered with pleasure the four years he spent
with the _gran re Francesco_ at Paris.

"The French are remembered in Italy only by the graves they left there,"
said De Comines, and once again the Italian campaigns ended in disaster.
At the defeat of Pavia, in 1525--the Armageddon of the French in
Italy--the efforts and sacrifices of three reigns were lost and the
_gran re_ went captive to the king of Spain in Madrid, whence he issued,
stained by perjury and three years later, signed "the moral annihilation
of France in Europe," at Cambray.

[Illustration: BOULEVARD ST. MICHEL.]

During the tranquil intervals that ensued on this rude awakening from
dreams of an Italian Empire, and the third and fourth wars with the
emperor, the king was able to give effect to a project that had long
been dear to him. "Come," says Michelet, "in the still, dark night,
climb the Rue St. Jacques, in the early winter's morning. See you yon
lights? Men, even old men, mingled with children, are hurrying, a folio
under one arm, in the other an iron candlestick. Do they turn to the
right? No, the old Sorbonne is yet sleeping snug in her warm sheets. The
crowd is going to the Greek schools. Athens is at Paris. That man with
the fine beard in majestic ermine is a descendant of emperors--Jean
Lascaris; that other doctor is Alexander, who teaches Hebrew."

The schools they were pressing to were those of the Royal College of
France. Already in 1517 Erasmus had been offered a salary of a thousand
francs a year, with promise of further increment, to undertake the
direction of the college, but declined to leave his patron the emperor.
The prime movers in the great scheme were the king's confessor,
Guillaume Parvi, and the famous Grecian, Guillaume Budé, who in 1530 was
himself induced to undertake the task which Erasmus had declined. Twelve
professors were appointed in Greek, Hebrew, mathematics, philosophy,
rhetoric and medicine, each of the twelve with a salary of two hundred
gold crowns (about £80), and the dignity of royal councillors. The
king's vast scheme of a great college and magnificent chapel, with a
revenue of 50,000 crowns for the maintenance (_nourriture_) of six
hundred scholars, where the most famous doctors in Christendom should
offer gratuitous teaching in all the sciences and learned languages, was
never executed. Too much treasure had been wasted in Italy, and it was
not till the reign of Louis XIII. that it was partially carried out. The
first stone was laid in 1610, but the college as we now see it was not
completed till 1770; before the construction the professors taught in
the colleges of Treguier and Cambray. Chairs were founded for Arabic by
Henry III., for surgery, anatomy and botany by Henry IV., and for Syrian
by Louis XIV. Little is changed to-day; the placards, so familiar to
students in Paris, announcing the lectures, are indited in French
instead of in Latin as of old; the lectures are still free to all, and
the most famous scholars of the day teach there, but in French and not
in Latin.[103]

How dramatic are the contrasts of history! While the new learning was
organising itself amid the pomp of royal patronage, while the young
Calvin was sitting at the feet of its professors and the Lutheran heresy
germinating at Paris, Ignatius Loyola, an obscure Spanish soldier and
gentleman of thirty-seven years of age, was sitting--a strange mature
figure--among the boisterous young students at the College of St.
Barbara, patiently preparing himself for dedication to the service of
the menaced Church of Rome; and in 1534, on the festival of the
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, a little group of six companions met
around the fervent student, in the crypt of the old church at
Montmartre, and decided to found on the holy hill of St. Denis'
martyrdom the first house of the Society of Jesus.

In 1528, says the writer of the so-called _Journal d'un Bourgeois de
Paris_, the king began to pull down the great tower of the Louvre, in
order to transform the château into a _logis de plaisance_, "yet was it
great pity for the castle was very fair and high and strong, and a most
proper prison to hold great men."

The tall, massive keep, which darkened the royal apartments in the south
wing, was the tower here meant, and after some four months' work, and an
expenditure of 2500 livres, the grim pile, with its centuries of
history, was cleared away. Small progress, however, had been made with
the restoration of the old château up to the year 1539, when the heavy
cost of preparing the west wing for the reception of the Emperor Charles
V., induced Francis to consider a plan which involved the replacement of
the whole fabric by a palace in the new Renaissance style. In 1546
Pierre Lescot was appointed architect without salary, but given the
office of almoner to the king, and made lay abbot of Clermont. Pierre
Lescot was an admirable artist, who has left us some of the finest
examples of early French Renaissance architecture in Paris. But Francis
lived only to see the great scheme begun, most of Lescot's work being
done under Henry II.

From the same anonymous writer we learn something of Parisian life in
the reign of Francis I. One day a certain Monsieur Cruche, a popular
poet and playwright, was performing moralities and novelties on a
platform in the Place Maubert, and among them a farce, "funny enough to
make half a score men die of laughter, in which the said Cruche, holding
a lantern, feigned to perceive the doings of a hen and a
salamander."[104] The amours of the king with the daughter of a
councillor of the Parlement, named Lecoq, were only too plainly
satirised. But it is ill jesting with kings. A few nights later,
Monsieur Cruche was visited by eight disguised courtiers, who treated
him to a supper in a tavern at the sign of the Castle in the Rue de la
Juiverie, and induced him to play the farce before them. When the
unhappy player came to the first scene, he was set upon by the king's
friends, stripped and beaten almost to death with thongs. They were
about to put him in a sack and throw him into the Seine, when poor
Cruche, crying piteously, discovered his priestly tonsure, and thus

Public festivities were held with incredible magnificence. When the
English envoys entered Paris in 1518, there was the finest triumph ever
seen. The king, the royal princes, five cardinals and a train of lords
and dukes and counts, with a gorgeous military pageant, met them and
conducted them to Notre Dame, whose interior was almost hidden under
decorations of tapestry and of cloth of silver and of gold. A pavilion
of cloth of gold, embroidered with the royal salamander, _moult riche et
fort triomphante_, supported by four columns of solid silver, was
erected, and was so large that some of the masonry between the choir and
the high altar had to be removed to give it place. The banquet by night
at the Bastille was the most solemn and sumptuous ever seen; the whole
courtyard was draped and the edifice lighted by ten thousand torches;
words fail to describe the triumph of the meats and table decorations.
The feast ended at midnight and was followed by dances of moriscos
attired in cloth of silver and of gold, by jousts and princely gifts.
The extravagance of Francis was prodigious; a Venetian ambassador
estimated the annual ordinary expenses of the court at 1,500,000[105]
crowns; another describes the people as "eaten to the bone by taxes."
Cellini declares that the king on his travels was accompanied by a train
of 12,000 horse.

After the defeat at Pavia, the king became excessively pious. By trumpet
cry at the crossways, games--quoits, tennis, contre-boulle--were
prohibited on Sundays; children were forbidden to sing along the
streets, going to and from school. Blasphemers[106] were to be severely
punished. In 1527 a notary was burned alive in the Place de Grève for a
great blasphemy of our Lord and His holy Mother. In June of the next
year some Lutherans struck down and mutilated an image of the Virgin and
Child at a street corner near St. Gervais; the king was so grieved and
angry that he wept violently, and offered a reward of one hundred gold
crowns, but the offenders could not be found. Daily processions came
from the churches to the spot, and all the religious orders, clothed in
their habits, followed, "singing with such great fervour and reverence,
that it was fair to see." The rector and doctors, masters and bachelors,
scholars of the university, and children with lighted tapers, went there
in great reverence. On Corpus Christi day the street was draped and a
fair canopy stretched over the statue. The king himself walked in
procession, bearing a white taper, his head uncovered in _moult gran
révérence_; hautboys, clarions and trumpets played melodiously.
Cardinals, prelates, great seigneurs and nobles, each with his taper of
white wax, followed, with the royal archers of the guard in their train.
On the morrow a procession from all the parishes of Paris, with banners,
relics and crucifixes, accompanied by the king and nobles, brought a new
and fair image of silver, two feet in height, which the king had caused
to be made. Francis himself ascended a ladder and placed it where the
other image had stood, then kissed it and descended with tears in his
eyes. Thrice he kneeled and prayed, the bishop of Lisieux, his almoner,
reciting fair orisons and lauds to the honour of the glorious Virgin and
her image. Again the trumpets, clarions and hautboys played the _Ave
Regina cælorum_, and the king, the cardinal of Louvain, and all the
nobles presented their tapers to the Virgin. Next day the Parlement, the
provost and sheriffs, came and put an iron trellis round the silver
image for fear of robbers.[107]

Never were judicial and ecclesiastical punishments so cruel and
recurrent as during the period of the Renaissance. It is a common error
to suppose that judicial cruelty reached its culmination in the Middle
Ages. Punishments are described with appalling iteration in the pages we
are following. The Place de Grève was the scene of mutilations,
tortures, hangings and quarterings of criminals and traitors, the king
and his court sometimes looking on. Coiners of false money were boiled
alive at the pig-market; robbers and assassins were broken on the wheel
and left to linger in slow agony (_tant qu'ils pourraient languir_). The
Lutherans were treated like vermin, and to harbour them, to possess or
print or translate one of their books, meant a fiery death. In 1525 a
young Lutheran student was put in a tumbril and brought before the
churches of Notre Dame and St. Genevieve, crying mercy from God and Mary
and St. Genevieve; he was then taken to the Place Maubert, where, after
his tongue had been pierced, he was strangled and burnt. A _gendarme_ of
the Duke of Albany was burnt at the pig-market for having sown Lutheran
errors in Scotland; before his execution his servant was whipped and
mutilated before him at the cart-tail, but was pardoned on recantation.

On Corpus Christi day, 1532, a great procession was formed, the king and
provost walking bare-headed to witness the burning of six Lutherans--a
scene often repeated. The Fountain of the Innocents, the Halles, the
Temple, the end of the Pont St. Michel, the Place Maubert, and the Rue
St. Honoré were indifferently chosen for these ghastly scenes. Almost
daily the fires burnt. A woman was roasted to death for eating flesh on
Fridays. In 1535, so savage were the persecutions, that Pope Paul III.,
with that gentleness which almost invariably has characterised Rome in
dealing with heresy, wrote to Francis protesting against the horrible
and execrable punishments inflicted on the Lutherans, and warned him
that although he acted from good motives, yet he must remember that God
the Creator, when in this world, used mercy rather than rigorous
justice, and that it was a cruel death to burn a man alive; he therefore
prayed and required the king to appease the fury and rigour of his
justice and adopt a policy of mercy and pardon. This noble protest was
effective, and some clemency was afterwards shown. But in 1547 the
fanatical king, a mass of physical and moral corruption, soured and
gloomy, went to his end amid the barbarities wreaked on the unhappy
Vaudois Protestants. The cries of three thousand of his butchered
subjects and the smoke from the ruins of twenty-five towns and hamlets
were the incense of his spirit's flight.




"Beware of Montmorency and curb the power of the Guises," was the
counsel of the dying Francis to his son. Henry II., dull and
heavy-witted that he was, neglected the advice, and the Guises
flourished in the sun of royal favour. The first Duke of Guise and
founder of his renowned house was Claude, a poor cadet of René II., Duke
of Lorraine. He succeeded in allying by marriage his eldest son and
successor, Francis, to the House of Bourbon; his second son, Charles,
became Cardinal of Lorraine, and his daughter, wife to James V. of
Scotland. Duke Francis, by his military genius and wise statesmanship;
Charles, by his learning and subtle wit, exalted their house to the
lofty eminence it enjoyed during the stirring period that now opens. In
1558, after the disastrous defeat of Montmorency at St. Quentin, when
Paris lay at the mercy of the Spanish and English armies, the duke was
recalled from Italy and made Lieutenant-General of the realm. By a
short and brilliant campaign, he expelled the English from Calais, and
recovered in three weeks the territory held by them for more than two
hundred years. Francis gained an unbounded popularity, and rose to the
highest pinnacle of success; but short time was left to his royal master
wherein to enjoy a reflected glory. On the 27th June 1559, lists were
erected across the Rue St. Antoine, between the Tournelles and the
Bastille. The peace with Spain, and the double marriage of the king's
daughter to Philip II. of Spain and of his sister to the Duke of Savoy,
were to be celebrated by a magnificent tournament in which the king,
proud of his strength and bodily address, was to hold the field with the
Duke of Guise and the princes against all comers. For three days the
king distinguished himself by his triumphant prowess, and at length
challenged the Duke of Montgomery, captain of the Scottish Guards; the
captain prayed to be excused, but the king insisted and the course was
run. Several lances were broken, but in the last encounter the stout
captain failed to lower his shivered lance quickly enough, and the
broken truncheon struck the royal visor, lifted it and penetrated the
king's eye. Henry fell senseless and was carried to the palace of the
Tournelles, where he died after an agony of eleven days. Fifteen years
later, Montgomery was captured fighting with the Huguenots, and beheaded
on the Place de Grève while Catherine de' Medici looked on "_pour
goûter_," says Félibien quaintly, "_le plaisir de se voir vangée de la
mort de son mary_." The tower in the interior of the Palais de Justice,
where the unhappy Scottish noble was imprisoned after his capture, was
known as the Tour Montgomery, until demolished in the reign of Louis
XVI. There was, however, little love lost between Henry's queen,
Catherine de' Medici, and her royal husband, who had long neglected her
for the maturer charms of his mistress, Diane de Poitiers.


Henry saw Lescot's admirable design for the reconstruction of the west
wing of the Louvre completed. The architect had associated a famous
sculptor, Jean Goujon, with him, who executed the beautiful figures in
low relief which still adorn the quadrangle front between the Pavilion
de l'Horloge and the south-west angle, and the noble Caryatides, which
support the musicians' gallery in the Salle Basse, or Salle des Fêtes,
now known as the Salle des Caryatides. The agreement, dated 5th
September 1550, awards forty-six livres each for the four plaster models
and eighty crowns each for the four carved figures. Lescot preserved the
external wall of the old château as the kernel of his new wing, and the
enormous strength of the original building of Philip Augustus may be
estimated by the fact that the embrasures of each of the five casements
of the first floor looking westwards now serve as offices. So
_grandement satisfait_ was Henry with the perfection of Lescot's work,
that he determined to continue it along the remaining three wings, that
the court of the Louvre might be a _cour non-pareille_. The south wing
was, however, only begun when his tragic death occurred, and the present
inconsequent and huge fabric is the work of a whole tribe of architects,
whose intermittent activities extended over the reigns of nine French

Lescot and Goujon were also associated in the construction of the most
beautiful Renaissance fountain in Paris, the Fontaine des Innocents,
which formerly stood against the old church of the Innocents at the
corner of the Rue aux Fers. Pajou added a fourth side in 1786, when the
fountain was removed to the Square des Innocents. It was while working
on one of the figures of this fountain that Jean Goujon is said to have
been shot as a Huguenot during the massacre of St. Bartholomew.


Europe was now in travail of a new era, and unhappy France reeled under
the tempest of the Reformation. A daring spirit of enquiry and of revolt
challenged every principle on which the social fabric had been based,
and the only refuge in the coming storm in France was the Monarchy.
Never had its power been more absolute. The king's will was law--a
harbour of safety, indeed, if he were strong and wise and virtuous: a
veritable quicksand, if feeble and vicious. And to pilot the state of
France in these stormy times, Henry II. left a sickly progeny of four
princes, miserable puppets, whose favours were disputed for thirty years
by ambitious and fanatical nobles, queens and courtesans.

Francis II., a poor creature of sixteen years, the slave of his wife
Marie Stuart and of the Guises, was called king of France for seventeen
months. He it was who sat daily by Mary in the royal garden, on the
terrace at Amboise overlooking the Loire, and, surrounded by his
brothers and the ladies of the court, gazed at the revolting and
merciless executions of the Protestant conspirators,[108] who, under the
Prince of Condé, had plotted to destroy the Guises and to free the king
from their influence. It was the first act in a horrible drama, a dread
pursuivant of the civil and religious wars in France. The stake was a
high one, for the victory of the reformers would sound the death-knell
of the Catholic cause in Europe. There is little reason to doubt that
the queen-mother, Catherine de' Medici, who now emerges into prominence,
was genuinely sincere in her disapproval of the horrors of Amboise, and
in her efforts to bring milder counsels to bear in dealing with the
Huguenots; but the fierce passions roused by civil and religious hatred
were uncontrollable. When the Huguenot noble, Villemongis, was led to
the scaffold at Amboise, he dipped his hands in the blood of his
slaughtered comrades, and, lifting them to heaven, cried: "Lord, behold
the blood of Thy children; Thou wilt avenge them." A savage lust for
blood among the Christian sectaries on either side, drawing its stimulus
from the records of the ferocity of semi-barbarian Jewish tribes,
smothered the gentle voice of Jesus, and during thirty years was never
slaked. Treachery and assassination were the interludes of plots and
battles. In 1563 the Duke of Guise was shot by a fanatical Huguenot
with a pistol loaded with poisoned balls. In 1569, when the Protestant
leader, Admiral Coligny, was surprised and attacked by the forces of the
Duke of Anjou, Prince Condé, although wounded in the arm, hastened to
his succour. As the prince passed on, his leg was broken by a kick from
a vicious horse. Still charging forward, he cried: "Remember how a Louis
of Bourbon goes to battle for Christ and Fatherland!" His horse was
killed, himself captured; as he was handing over his sword to his
captors, the Baron de Montesquieu, "_brave et vaillant gentilhomme_,"
says Brantôme, arrived on the scene, and, on learning what was passing,
exclaimed, "_Mort Dieu!_ kill him! kill him!" and blew out Condé's
brains with a pistol. The body of the heroic Bourbon was then tied on an
ass, and a mocking epitaph set upon it:--

    "L'an mil cinq soixante neuf,
     Entre Jarnac et Château neuf;
     Fut porté mort sur une ânesse,
     Cil qui voulait ôter la messe."

The defeated Protestants were, however, soon roused to enthusiasm by the
arrival of Jeanne of Navarre at their camp, leading her son Henry by one
hand and the eldest son of Condé by the other. "Here," cried the widowed
queen, "are two orphans I confide to you; two leaders that God has given
you." One of these orphans was to become Henry IV. of France.



The treaty of St. Germain, which has so often been charged on Catherine
as an act of perfidy, was rather an imperative necessity, if respite
were to be had from the misery into which the land had fallen. Its
conditions were honourably carried out, and Catholic excesses were
impartially and severely repressed. Charles IX., who was now twenty
years of age, began to assert his independence of the queen-mother and
of the Guises,[109] and his first movement was in the direction of
conciliation. The young king offered the hand of his sister, Princess
Marguerite, to Henry of Navarre, and received Coligny and Jeanne of
Navarre with much honour at court. Pressure was brought to bear upon
him, but, pope or no pope, the king said he was determined to conclude
the marriage. The Catholic party, and especially Paris, were furious.
The capital, with the provost, the Parlement, the university, the
prelates, the religious orders, had always been hostile to the
Huguenots. The people could with difficulty be restrained at times from
assuming the office of executioners as Protestants were led to the
stake. Any one who did not uncover as he passed the image of the Virgin
at the street corners, or who omitted to bend the knee as the Host was
carried by, was attacked as a Lutheran. When the heralds published the
peace with the Huguenots at the crossways of Paris, filth and mud were
thrown at them, and they went in danger of their lives: now Coligny and
his Huguenots were holding their heads high in Paris, proud and
insolent, and the heretic prince of Navarre was to wed the king's

Jeanne of Navarre died soon after her arrival at court,[110] but the
alliance was hurried on. The betrothal took place in the Louvre, and, on
Sunday, 17th August 1572, a high daïs was erected outside Notre Dame for
the celebration of the marriage. When the ceremony had been performed by
the Cardinal de Bourbon, Henry conducted his bride to the choir of the
cathedral, and went walking in the bishop's garden while mass was sung.
The office ended, he returned and led his wife to the bishop's palace to
dinner, and a magnificent state supper at the Louvre concluded this
momentous day. Three days of balls, masquerades and tourneys followed,
amid the murmuring of a sullen populace. These were the _noces
vermeilles_--the red nuptials--of Marguerite of France and Henry of

Meanwhile Catherine and Coligny had differed on a matter of foreign
policy, and the king, bent on freeing himself from his mother's yoke,
openly favoured the Huguenot leader. Catherine, terrified at the result
of her own work, determined to regain her ascendency, and she conspired
with her third son, the Prince of Anjou (later Henry III.), to destroy
and have done with the Protestants. Coligny had often been warned of the
danger he would run in Paris, but the stout old soldier knew no fear,
and came to take part in the festivities of the wedding. The sounds of
revelry had barely died away when Coligny, who was returning from the
Louvre to his hotel, walking slowly and reading a petition, was fired at
from a window as he passed the cloister of St. Germain l'Auxerrois, and
wounded in the arm. He stopped and noted the house whence the shot came:
it was the house of the preceptor of the Duke of Guise. The king was
playing at tennis when the news came to him: he flung down his racquet,
exclaiming, "What! shall I never be in peace? must I suffer new trouble
every day?" and went moody and pensive to his chamber. In a few moments
Prince Condé and Henry of Navarre burst in, uttering indignant protests,
and begged permission to leave Paris. Charles assured them he would do
justice, and that they might safely remain. In the afternoon the king,
his mother and the princes, went to visit the admiral. The king asked to
be left alone in the wounded man's chamber, remained a long time with
him, and protested that though the wound was his friend's, the grief was
his own, and he swore to avenge him.



Coligny once again was warned by his friends to beware of the court, but
he refused to distrust the king. Many and conflicting are the reports of
what followed. We shall not be accused of any Protestant bias if we base
our story mainly on that of the two learned Benedictines[111] who are
responsible for five solid tomes of the _Histoire de la Ville de Paris_.
On the morrow of the attempt on Coligny's life, the queen-mother invited
Charles and his brother of Anjou to walk, after dinner, in the garden of
her new palace in the Tuileries: they were joined by the chief Catholic
leaders, and a grand council was held. The queen dwelt on the perilous
situation of the monarchy and the Catholic cause, and urged that now was
the time to act: Coligny lay wounded; Navarre and Condé were in their
power at the Louvre; for ten Huguenots in Paris the Catholics could
oppose a thousand armed men; rid France of the Huguenot chiefs and a
formidable evil were averted. Her course was approved, but the leaders
shrank from including the two princes of Navarre and Condé: they were to
be given their choice--recantation or death. By order of the king 12,000
arquebusiers were placed along the river and the streets, and arms were
carried into the Louvre. The admiral's friends, alarmed at the sinister
preparations, protested to Charles but were reassured and told to take
Cosseins and fifty arquebusiers to guard his house. The provost of Paris
was then summoned by the Duke of Guise and ordered to arm and organise
the citizens and proceed to the Hôtel de Ville at midnight. The king,
Guise said, would not lose so fair an opportunity of exterminating the
Huguenots. The Catholic citizens were to tie a piece of white linen on
their left arm and place a white cross in their caps that they might be
recognised by their friends. At midnight the windows of their houses
were to be illuminated by torches, and at the first sound of the great
bell at the Palais de Justice the bloody work was to begin. Midnight
drew near. Catherine was not sure of the king, and repaired to his
chamber with Anjou and her councillors to fix his wavering purpose; she
heaped bitter reproaches upon him, worked on his fears with stories of a
vast Huguenot conspiracy and hinted that cowardice prevented him from
seizing the fairest opportunity that God had ever offered, to free
himself from his enemies. She repeated an Italian prelate's vicious
epigram: "_Che pietà lor ser crudel, che crudeltà, lor ser
pietosa_,"[112] and concluded by threatening to leave the court with the
Duke of Anjou rather than witness the destruction of the Catholic cause.
Charles, who had listened sullenly, was stung by the taunt of cowardice
and broke into a delirium of passion; he called for the death of every
Huguenot in France, that none might be left to reproach him afterwards.

Catherine gave him no time for farther vacillation. The great bell of
St. Germain l'Auxerrois was rung, and at two in the morning of Sunday,
St. Bartholomew's Day, 24th August 1572, the Duke of Guise and his
followers issued forth to do their Sabbath morning's work. Cosseins saw
his leader coming and knew what was expected of him. Coligny's door was
forced, his servants were poignarded, and Besme, a German in the service
of Guise, followed by others, burst into the admiral's room. The old man
stood erect in his _robe de chambre_, facing his murderers. "Art thou
the admiral?" demanded Besme. "I am he," answered Coligny with
unfaltering voice and, gazing steadily at the naked sword pointed at his
breast, added, "Young man, thou shouldst show more respect to my white
hairs; yet canst thou shorten but little my brief life." For answer he
was pierced by Besme's sword and stabbed to death by his companions.
Guise stood waiting in the street below and the body was flung down to
him from the window. He wiped the blood from the old man's face, looked
at it, and said, "It is he!" Spurning the body with his foot he cried,
"Courage, soldiers! we have begun well; now for the others, the king
commands it. "Meanwhile the bell of the Palais de Justice, answering
that of St. Germain, was booming forth its awful summons, and the
citizens hastened to perform their part. Some passing the body of
Coligny cut off the head and took it to the king and queen, others
mutilated the trunk, which, after being dragged about the streets for
three days, was hanged by the feet on the gibbet at Montfaucon, where
Charles and Catherine are said to have come to gaze on it.

All the Huguenot nobles dwelling near the admiral were pitilessly
murdered, and a similar carnage took place at the Louvre. Marguerite,
the young bride of Navarre, in her Memoirs, tells of the horrors of that
morning, how, when half-asleep, a wounded Huguenot nobleman rushed into
her chamber, pursued by four archers, and flung himself on her bed
imploring protection. A captain of the guard entered, from whom she
gained his life. She entreated the captain to lead her to her sister's
room, and as she fled thither, more dead than alive, another fugitive
was hewn down by a hallebardier only three paces from her; she fell
fainting in the captain's arms. Meanwhile Charles, the queen-mother, and
Henry of Anjou, after the violent scene in the king's chamber, had lain
down for two hours' rest and then went to a window which overlooked the
_basse-cour_ of the Louvre, to see the "beginning of the executions." If
we may believe Henry's story, they had not been there long before the
sound of a pistol shot filled them with dread and remorse, and a
messenger was sent to bid Guise to spare the admiral and to stay the
whole undertaking; but the nobleman who had been sent returned saying
that Guise had told him it was too late: the admiral was dead, and the
executions had begun all over the city. A dozen Protestant nobles of the
suites of Condé and Navarre, who had taken refuge in the Louvre, were
seized; one was even dragged from a sick-bed: all were taken to the
courtyard and hewn in pieces by the Swiss guards under the eyes of
Charles, who cried: "Let none escape." Meantime the Catholic leaders had
been scouring the streets on horseback, shouting to the people that a
Huguenot conspiracy to murder the king had been discovered, and that it
was the king's wish that all the Huguenots should be destroyed.

A list of the Huguenots in Paris had been prepared and all their houses
marked. None was spared. Old and young, women and children, were
pitilessly butchered. All that awful Sunday the orgy of slaughter and
pillage went on; every gate of the city had been closed and the keys
brought to the king. Night fell and the carnage was not stayed. Two days
yet and two nights the city was a prey to the ministers of death, and
some Catholics, denounced by personal enemies, were involved in the
massacre. The resplendent August sun, the fair sky and serene atmosphere
were held to be a divine augury, and a whitethorn in the cemetery of the
Innocents blooming out of season was hailed as a miracle and a visible
token from God that the Catholic religion was to blossom again by the
destruction of the Huguenots. A famous professor at the university was
flung out of a window by the scholars, his body insulted and dragged in
the mud. The murders did not wholly cease until 17th September. Various
were the estimates of the slain--20,000, 5,000, 2,000. A goldsmith named
Cruce went about displaying his robust arm and boasting that he had
accounted for 400 Huguenots. The streets, the front of the Louvre, the
public places were blocked by dead bodies; tumbrils[113] were hired to
throw them into the Seine, which literally for days ran red with blood.

The princes of Navarre and Condé saw the privacy of their chambers
violated by a posse of archers on St. Bartholomew's morning; they were
forced to dress and were haled before the king, who, with a fierce look
and glaring eyes, swore at them, reproached them for waging war upon
him, and ordered them to change their religion. On their refusal he grew
furious with rage, and by dint of threats wrung from them a promise to
go to mass.


Charles is said to have stood at a window in the Petite Galerie of
the Louvre and to have fired across the river with a long arquebus on
some Huguenots who, being lodged on the southern side, had escaped
massacre, and were riding up to learn what was passing. The statement is
much canvassed by authorities. It is at least permissible to doubt the
assertion, since the first floor[114] of the Petite Galerie, where the
king is traditionally believed to have placed himself, was not in
existence before the time of Henry IV. If the ground floor be meant, a
further difficulty arises from the fact that the southern end was not
furnished with a window in Charles IX.'s time.

On the 26th of August the king boldly avowed responsibility before the
Parlement for measures which he alleged had been necessary to suppress a
Huguenot insurrection aiming at the assassination of himself and the
royal family and the destruction of the Catholic religion in France. The
ears of the Catholic princes of Europe and of the pope were abused by
this specious lie; they believed that the Catholic cause had been saved
from ruin; the so-called victory was hailed with transports of joy, and
a medal was struck in Rome to celebrate the defeat of the

Similar horrors were enacted in the chief provincial towns. Some few
governors, to their honour, declined to carry out the orders of the
court, and the public executioner at Troyes refused to take part in the
butchery, protesting that his office was not to kill untried persons. At
Angers some of the rich Huguenots were imprisoned and their property
confiscated by order of Henry of Anjou. "Monseigneur, we can make more
than 150,000 francs out of them," wrote his agent.

Such was the massacre of St. Bartholomew. The death-roll of the victims
is known to the Recording Angel alone. It was a tremendous folly no less
than an indelible crime, for it steeled the heart of every Protestant to
avenge his slaughtered brethren.


Many of the Huguenot leaders escaped from Paris while the soldiers sent
to despatch them were pillaging, and the flames of civil strife burst
forth fiercer than ever. The court had prepared for massacre, not for
war; and while the king was receiving the felicitations of the courts of
Spain and Rome, he was forced by the Peace of La Rochelle to concede
liberty of conscience to the Protestants and to restore their
sequestered estates and offices. After two years of agony of mind and
remorse, Charles IX. lay dying of consumption, abandoned by all save his
faithful Huguenot nurse. The blood flowing from his nostrils seemed a
token of God's wrath; and moaning "Ah! _ma mie_, what bloodshed! what
murders! I am lost! I am lost!" the poor crowned wretch passed to his
account. He had not yet reached his twenty-fourth year.




When the third of Catherine's sons, having resigned the sovereignty of
Poland, was being consecrated at Rheims, the crown is said to have twice
slipped from his head, the insentient diadem itself shrinking in horror
from the brow of a prince destined to pollute it with deeper shame.
Treacherous and bloody, Henry mingled grovelling piety with debauchery,
and made of the court a veritable Alsatia, where paid assassins who
stabbed from behind and _mignons_ who struck to the face, were part of
the train of every prince. The king's _mignons_, with their insolent
bearing, their extravagant and effeminate dress, their hair powdered and
curled, their neck ruffles so broad that their heads resembled the head
of John the Baptist on a charger,--gambling, blaspheming
swashbucklers--were hateful alike to Huguenot and Catholic.

Less than four years after St. Bartholomew the Peace of 1576 gave the
Huguenots all they had ever demanded or hoped for. In 1582 died the Duke
of Alençon, Catherine's last surviving son and heir to the throne; Henry
gave no hope of posterity and the Catholic party were confronted by the
possibility of the sceptre of St. Louis descending to a relapsed
heretic. A tremendous wave of feeling ran through France, and a Holy
League was formed to meet the danger, with the Duke of Guise as leader.
The king tried in vain to win some of the Huguenot and League partisans
by the solemn institution of the Order of the Holy Ghost,[116] in the
church of the Augustinians, to commemorate his elevation to the thrones
of Poland and France on the day of Pentecost. The people were equally
recalcitrant. When Henry entered Paris after the campaign of 1587, they
shouted for their idol, the Balafré,[117] crying, "Saul has slain his
thousands but David his tens of thousands." The king in his jealousy and
disgust forbade Guise to enter Paris; Guise coolly ignored the command,
and a few months later arrived at the head of a formidable train of
nobles, amid the joyous acclamation of the people, who greeted him with
chants of "_Hosannah, Filio David!_" Angry scenes followed. The duke
sternly called his master to duty, and warned him to take vigorous
measures against the Huguenots or lose his crown; the king, pale with
anger, dismissed him and prepared to strike.

[Illustration: CATHERINE DE' MEDICI.


On the night of the 11th May a force of Royal Guards and 4000 Swiss
mercenaries entered Paris, but the Parisians, with that genius for
insurrection which has always characterised them, were equal to the
occasion. The sixteen sections of the city met; in the morning the
people were under arms; and barricades and chains blocked the streets.
The St. Antoine section, ever to the front, stood up to the king's
Guards and to the Swiss advancing to occupy their quarter, defeated
them, and with exultant cries rushed to threaten the Louvre itself.
Henry was forced to send his mother to treat with the duke; she returned
with terms that meant a virtual abdication. Henry took horse and fled,
vowing he would come back only through a breach in the walls. But Guise
was supreme in Paris, and the pitiful monarch was soon forced to yield;
he signed the terms of his own humiliation, and went to Blois to meet
Guise and the States-General with bitterness in his heart, brooding over
his revenge. Visitors to Blois will recall the scene of the tragic end
of Guise, the incidents of which the official guardians of the château
are wont to recite with dramatic gesture. Fearless and impatient of
warnings, the great captain fell into the trap prepared for him; he was
done to death in the king's chamber, like a lion caught in the toils.
Henry, who had heard mass and prayed that God would be gracious to him
and permit the success of his enterprise, hastened to his mother, now
aged and dying. "Madame," said he, "I have killed the king of Paris and
am become once more king of France."[118] The Cardinal of Lorraine,
separated from the king's chamber only by a partition, paled as he heard
his nephew's struggles. "Yes," said his warder, "the king has some
accounts to settle with you." Next morning the old cardinal was led out
and hacked to pieces. The two bodies were burnt and the ashes scattered
to the winds to prevent their being worshipped as relics. It was
Christmas Eve of 1588.

The stupid crime brought its inevitable consequences--

    "Revenge and hate bring forth their kind,
     Like the foul cubs their parents are."

Paris and the Leaguers were stung to fury; the Sorbonne declared the
king deposed; the pope banned him and a popular preacher called for
another bloodletting. Henry, in a final act of shame and despair, flung
himself into the king of Navarre's arms, and on the 30th July 1589, the
two Henrys encamped at St. Cloud and threatened Paris with an army of
40,000 men. On the morrow Jacques Clement, a young Dominican friar,
after preparing himself by fasting, prayer and holy communion, left
Paris with a forged letter for the king, reached the camp and asked for
a private interview. While Henry was reading the letter the friar
snatched a dagger from his sleeve and mortally stabbed him. He lingered
until 2nd August, and after pronouncing Henry of Navarre his lawful
successor and bidding his Council swear allegiance to the new dynasty,
the last of the thirteen Valois kings passed to his doom. Catherine de'
Medici had already preceded him, burdened with the anathemas of the
Cardinal of Bourbon. The people of Paris swore that if her body were
brought to St. Denis they would fling it to the shambles or into the
Seine, and a famous theologian, preaching at St. Bartholomew's church,
declared to the faithful that he knew not if it were right to pray God
for her soul, but that if they cared to give her in charity a Pater or
an Ave they might do so for what it was worth. This was the reward of
her thirty years of devoted toil, of vigils and of plots to further the
Catholic cause. Not until a quarter of a century had passed were her
ashes laid beside those of her husband in the rich Renaissance tomb,
which still exists, in the royal church of St. Denis. When the news of
the king's death reached Paris, the Duchess of Montpensier, whom he had
threatened to burn alive when he entered, leapt into her carriage and
drove through the streets crying, "Good news, friends! Good news! The
tyrant is dead!" Jacques Clement, who had been cut to pieces by the
king's Guards, was worshipped as a martyr, and his mother rewarded for
having given birth to the saviour of France.

[Illustration: ST. GERVAIS.]

Henry of Navarre, unable to carry on the siege with a divided army,
directed his course for Normandy. The exultant Parisians proclaimed the
Cardinal of Bourbon king, under the title of Charles X., and the Duke of
Mayenne, with a large army, marched forth to give battle to Henry. So
confident were the Leaguers of victory, that their leaders hired windows
along the Rue St. Antoine, to witness the return of the duke bringing
the "Bearnais"[119] dead or a prisoner. Henry did indeed return, but it
was after a victorious campaign. He captured the Faubourg St. Jacques,
and fell upon the abbey of St. Germain des Prés while the astonished
monks were preparing to sing mass. Henry seized the monastery, climbed
the steeple of the church and gazed on Paris. He refreshed his
troops, suffered them to pillage the city south of the Seine, and
turned to the west to fix his capital at Tours. In 1590 he won at Ivry
on the Eure, about fifty miles south of Rouen, the brilliant victory
over the armies of the League and of Spain which Macaulay has
popularised in a stirring poem. The village ever since has been known as

The road to Paris was now open, and the city endured another and most
terrible siege. The Leaguers fought and suffered with the utmost
constancy. Reliquaries were melted down for money, church bells for
cannon. The clergy and religious orders were caught by the military
enthusiasm. The bishop of Senlis and the prior of the Carthusians, two
valiant Maccabees, were seen, crucifix in one hand, and a pike in the
other, leading a procession of armed priests, monks and scholars through
the streets. Friars from the mendicant orders were among them, their
habits tucked up, hoods thrown back, casques on their heads and
cuirasses on their breasts. All marched sword by side, dagger in girdle,
musket on shoulder, the strangest army of the church militant ever seen.
As they passed the Pont Notre Dame the papal legate was crossing in his
carriage, and was asked to stop and give his blessing. After this
benediction a salvo of musketry was called for, and some of the host of
the Lord, forgetting that their muskets were loaded with ball, killed a
papal officer and wounded a servant of the ambassador of Spain.

[Illustration: LUXEMBOURG PALACE.]

Four months the Parisians endured starvation and all the attendant
horrors of a siege, the incidents of which, as described by
contemporaries, are so ghastly that the pen recoils from transcribing
them. At length, when they were at the last extremity, the Duke of Parma
arrived with a Spanish army, forced Henry to raise the siege, and
revictualled the city. After war, anarchy. In November 1591 it was
discovered that secret letters were passing between Brizard, an officer
in the service of the Duke of Mayenne in Paris, and a royalist at St.
Denis. The sections demanded Brizard's instant execution, and on his
discharge by the Parlement the _curé_ of St. Jacques fulminated against
that body and declared that cold steel must be tried (_faut jouer des
couteaux_). A secret revolutionary committee of ten was appointed, and a
_papier rouge_ or list of suspects in all the districts of Paris was
drawn up under three categories: P. (_pendus_), those to be hung; D.
(_dagués_), those to be poignarded; C. (_chassés_), those to be
expelled. On the night of the 15th November a meeting was held at the
house of the _curé_ of St. Jacques, and in the morning the president of
the Parlement, Brisson, was seized and dragged to the Petit Châtelet,
where a revolutionary tribunal, in black cloaks, on which were sewn
large red crosses, condemned him to death. Meanwhile two councillors of
the Parlement, Larcher and Tardif, had been seized, the latter by the
_curé_ of St. Cosme, and haled to the Châtelet. All three were dragged
to a room, and the executioner was forced to hang them from a beam. The
bodies were then stripped, an inscription was hung about their necks,
and they were suspended from the gallows in the Place de Grève. The
sections believed that Paris would rise: they only shocked the more
orderly citizens. The Duke of Mayenne, who was at Lyons, on the receipt
of the news hastened to Paris, temporised a while and, when sure of
support, seized four of the most dangerous leaders of the sections and
hanged them without trial in the Salle basse of the Louvre. All save the
more violent partisans were now weary of the strife. The Leaguers
themselves were divided. The sections aimed at a theocratic democracy;
another party favoured the Duke of Mayenne; a third, the Duke of Guise;
a fourth, the Infanta of Spain. It was decided to convoke the
States-General at Paris. They met at the Louvre in 1593, and a
conference was arranged with Henry's supporters at Suresnes. Crowds
flocked there, crying, "Peace, peace; blessed be they who bring it;
cursed they who prevent it." Henry knew the supreme moment was come.
France was still profoundly Catholic; he must choose between his
religion and France. He chose to heal his country's wounds and perhaps
to save her very existence. Learned theologians were deputed to confer
with him at Paris, whom he astonished and confounded by his knowledge of
Scripture; they declared that they had never met a heretic better able
to defend his cause. But on 23rd July 1573, he professed himself
convinced, and the same evening wrote to his mistress, Gabrielle
d'Estrées, that he had spoken with the bishops, and that a hundred
anxieties were making St. Denis hateful to him. "On Sunday," he adds, "I
am to take the perilous leap. _Bonjour_, my heart; come to me early
to-morrow. It seems a year since I saw you. A million times I kiss the
fair hands of my angel and the mouth of my dear mistress."

On Sunday, under the great portal of St. Denis, the archbishop of
Bourges sat enthroned in a chair covered with white damask and
embroidered with the arms of France and of Navarre. He was attended by
many prelates and the prior and monks of St. Denis, and the cross and
the book of the Gospels were held before him. Henry drew nigh. "Who are
you?" demanded the archbishop. "I am the king." "What do you ask?" "I
wish to be received in the bosom of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman
Church." "Is it your will?" "Yes, I will and desire it." Henry then
knelt and made profession of his faith, kissed the prelate's ring,
received his blessing and was led to the choir, where he knelt before
the high altar and repeated his profession of faith on the holy Gospels
amid cries of "_Vive le roi!_"

The clerical extremists in Paris anathematised all concerned. Violent
_curés_ again donned their armour, children were baptised and mass was
sung by cuirassed priests. The _curé_ of St. Cosme seized a partisan,
and with other fanatics of the League hastened to the Latin Quarter to
raise the university. But the people were heartsick of the whole
business; and when Henry entered Paris after his coronation at Chartres,
resplendent in velvet robes embroidered with gold and seated on his
dapple grey charger, his famous helmet with its white plumes ever in his
hand saluting the ladies at the windows, he was hailed with shouts of
joy. Shops were reopened, the artisan took up his tools and the merchant
went to his counter with a sigh of relief. A general amnesty was
proclaimed, and the Spanish garrison were allowed to depart with their
arms. As they filed out of the Porte St. Denis in heavy rain, three
thousand strong, the king was sitting at a window above the gates.
"Remember me to your master," he cried, "but do not return." On the
morrow the provost and sheriffs and chief citizens came to the Louvre
bearing presents of sweetmeats, sugar-plums and malmsey wine. "Yesterday
I received your hearts, to-day I receive your sweets," the king
remarked; all were charmed by his wit, his forbearance and generosity.
The stubborn university was last to give way, but when the doctors of
theology learnt that Henry had touched for the king's evil and that many
had been cured, they too were convinced. Paris, "well worth a mass," was
wooed and won. The memorable Edict of Nantes established liberty of
worship and political equality for the Protestants. The war with Spain
was brought to a successful issue, and Henry, with his minister the Duke
of Sully, probably the greatest financial genius France has ever known,
by wise and firm statesmanship lifted the country from bankruptcy to
prosperity and contentment.

[Illustration: HÔTEL DE SULLY.]

Henry, like one of his predecessors, had of _bastards et bastardes une
moult belle compagnie_, but as yet no legitimate heir. A divorce from
Marguerite of Valois and a politic marriage with the pope's niece, Marie
de' Medici,[120] gave him a magnificent dowry, an additional bond to
the papacy, and several children.

Henri Quatre, hero of Voltaire's famous epic, is the most popular and
romantic figure in the gallery of French kings. His statue on the Pont
Neuf was spared for a while by the revolutionists, who made every
passer-by in a carriage alight and bow to it. Born among the mountains,
Henry was patient of fatigue and hardships. In good or evil fortune his
gaiety of heart never failed him. Brave and generous, courteous and
witty, he endeared himself to all his subjects, save a few fanatics, and
won a desperate cause by sheer personal magic and capacity. Like all his
race, Henry was susceptible to the charms of the daughters of Eve, but,
unlike his descendants, he never sacrificed France to their tears and
wiles. When the question of the succession was urgent he thought of
marrying Gabrielle d'Estrées, whom he had created Duchess of Beaufort.
But Sully opposed the union, and the impatient Gabrielle sought her
royal lover, and used all her powers of fascination to compass the
dismissal of the great minister. Henry, however, stood firm, and
Gabrielle burst into passionate reproaches. It was of no avail. "Let me
tell you," answered Henry, calmly, "if I must choose between you and the
duke, I would sooner part with ten mistresses such as you than one
faithful servant such as he."

In 1610 the king was making great preparations for a war with Austria,
and, on the 14th May, desiring to consult Sully, who was unwell in his
rooms at the Arsenal, he determined to spare him the fatigue of
travelling to the Louvre, and to drive to the Arsenal.

With much foreboding the king had agreed to the coronation of Marie de'
Medici, which had been celebrated at St. Denis with great pomp. The
ceremony was attended by two sinister incidents. The Gospel for the day,
taken from Mark x., included the answer of Jesus to the Pharisees who
tempted Him by asking--"Is it lawful for a man to put away his
wife?"--the Gospel was hurriedly changed. And when the usual largesse
of gold and silver pieces was thrown to the crowd not a voice cried,
"_Vive le roi_," or "_Vive la reine_." That night the king tossed
restless on his bed, pursued by evil dreams. On the morrow his
counsellors begged him to defer his journey, but nineteen plots to
assassinate him had already failed: he gently put aside their warnings,
and repeated his favourite maxim that fear had no place in a generous
heart. It was a warm day, and the king entered his open carriage,
attended by the Dukes of Epernon and Montbazon and five other courtiers;
a number of _valets de pied_ followed him. In the narrow Rue de la
Ferronnerie the carriage was stopped by a block in the traffic, and the
servants were sent round by the cemetery of the Innocents. While the
king was listening to the reading of a letter by the Duke of Epernon,
one Francis Ravaillac, who had been watching his opportunity for twelve
months, placed his foot on a wheel of the coach, leaned forward, and
plunged a knife into the king's breast. Before he could be seized he
pulled out the fatal steel and doubled his thrust, piercing him to the
heart. "_Je suis blessé_," cried Henry, and never spoke again. The
widened Rue de la Ferronnerie still exists; the tragedy took place
opposite the present no. 3. The regicide was seized, and all the
tortures that the most refined cruelty could invent were inflicted upon
him. He was dragged to the Place de Grève, his right hand cut off and,
with the fatal knife, flung into the flames; the flesh was torn from his
arms, breast and legs; melted lead and boiling oil were poured into the
wounds. Horses were then tied to each of his four limbs, and were lashed
for an hour, when at length the body was torn to pieces and burnt to
ashes. Some writers have inculpated the Jesuits for the murder, but it
may more reasonably be attributed to the fury of a crazy fanatic.
Certain it is that Henry's heart was given to the Jesuits for the church
of their college of la Flèche, which was founded by him.

The first Bourbon king has left his impress on the architecture of
Paris. Small progress had been made during the reign of Henry II.'s
three sons with their father's plans for the rebuilding of the Louvre.
The work had been continued along the river front after Lescot's death
in 1578 by Baptiste du Cercan, and Catherine de' Medici had erected the
gallery on the south, known as the Petite Galerie--a ground-floor
building with a terrace on top, intended for a meeting-place and
promenade and not for residence; she had also begun the palace of the
Tuileries in 1564, but abandoned it on being warned by her astrologer,
Ruggieri, that she should die under the ruins of a house near St.
Germain.[121] Henry, soon after he had entered Paris, elaborated a vast
scheme for finishing the Tuileries, demolishing the churches of St.
Thomas and St. Nicholas, quadrupling the size of the old Louvre and
joining the two palaces by continuing the Grande Galerie, already begun
by Catherine, to the west. Towards the east the hôtels d'Alençon, de
Bourbon and the church of St. Germain l'Auxerrois were to be demolished,
and a great open space was to be levelled between the new east front of
the Louvre and the Pont Neuf. At Henry's accession Catherine's
architects, Philibert de l'Orme and Jean Bullant, had completed the
superb domed central pavilion of the Tuileries, with its two contiguous
galleries, and begun the end pavilions. The gardens, with the famous
maze or _dedalus_ and Palissy's beautiful grotto, had been completed in
1476, and for some years were a favourite promenade for Catherine and
her court. Henry's plans were so far carried out that on New Year's day,
1608, he could walk along the Grande Galerie to the Pavilion de Flore at
the extreme west of the river front, and enter the south wing of the
Tuileries which had been extended to meet it. The Pavilion de Flore thus
became the angle of junction between the two palaces. An upper floor
was imposed on the Petite Galerie, and adorned with paintings
representing the kings of France. Henry intended the ground floor of the
Grande Galerie for the accommodation of painters, sculptors, goldsmiths,
tapestry weavers, smiths, and other craftsmen. The quadrangle, however,
remained as the last Valois had left it--half Renaissance, half
Gothic--and the north-east and south-east towers of the original château
were still standing to be drawn by Sylvestre towards the middle of the
seventeenth century.

Domenico da Cortona's unfinished Hôtel de Ville was taken in hand after
more than half-a-century and practically completed.[122] The larger,
north portion of the Pont Neuf was built, the two islets west of the
Cité were incorporated with the island to form the Place Dauphine and
the ground that now divides the two sections of the bridge--a new
street, the Rue Dauphine, being cut through the garden of the Augustins
and the ruins of the college of St. Denis. The Place Royale (now des
Vosges) was built, that charming relic of seventeenth and eighteenth
century fashionable Paris, where Molière's _Précieuses_ lived.

[Illustration: PLACE DES VOSGES.]

[Illustration: PLACE DES VOSGES.]

How different is the present aspect of this once courtly square! Here
noble gentlemen in dazzling armour jousted, while, from the windows of
each of the thirty-five pavilions, gentle dames and demoiselles smiled
gracious guerdon to their cavaliers. Around the bronze statue of Louis
XIII., proudly erect on the noble horse cast by Daniello da Volterra, in
the middle of the gardens, fine ladies were carried in their
sedan-chairs and angry gallants fought out their quarrels. And now on
the scene of these brilliant revels, peaceful inhabitants of the east of
Paris sun themselves and children play. Bronze horse and royal rider
went to the melting pot of the Revolution to be forged into the cannon
that defeated and humbled the allied kings of Europe, and a feeble
marble equestrian statue, erected under the Restoration, occupies its
place. Henry also partly rebuilt the Hôtel Dieu, created new streets,
and widened others.[123] New fountains and quays were built; the Porte
du Temple was reopened, and the Porte des Tournelles constructed.
Unhappily, some of the old wooden bridges remained, and on Sunday, 22nd
December 1596, the Pont aux Meuniers (Miller's Bridge), just below the
Pont au Change, suddenly collapsed, with all its shops and houses, and
sixty persons perished. They were not much regretted, for most of them
had enriched themselves by the plunder of Huguenots, and during the
troubles of the League. The bridge was rebuilt of wood, at the cost of
the captain of the corps of archers, and as the houses were painted each
with the figure of a bird, the new bridge was known as the Pont aux
Oiseaux (Bridge of Birds). It spanned the river from the end of the Rue
St. Denis and the arch of the Grand Châtelet to the Tour de l'Horloge of
the Palais de Justice. In 1621, however, it and the Pont au Change
were consumed by fire in a few hours and, in 1639, the two wooden
bridges were replaced by a bridge of stone, the Pont au Change, which
stood until rebuilt in 1858.

It was in Henry's reign that the Penitents, a regularised order of
reformed Franciscan Tertiaries, were established at Picpus, a small
village south-east of the Porte St. Antoine, and the friars became known
to the Parisians as the Picpuses. The buildings are now occupied by the
nuns of the Sacré Coeur, whose church contains a much venerated
statuette of the Virgin, which, in Henry's reign, stood over the portal
of the Capucin convent in the Rue St. Honoré. Readers of _Les
Misérables_ will remember that it was over the high walls of this
convent that Jean Valjean escaped with Cosette from his pursuers. At the
end of the garden lie buried in the cemetery of Picpus the victims of
the Revolution who were guillotined on the Place du Trône Renversé (now
du Trône).


[Illustration: PONT ST. MICHEL.]

We are able to give the impression which the Paris of Henri Quatre made
on an English traveller, a friend of Ben Johnson and author of _Coryat's
Crudities, hastily gobbled up in five months' Travell_. The first
objects that met Coryat's eye are characteristic. As he travelled along
the St. Denis road he passed "seven[124] faire pillars of freestone at
equal distances, each with an image of St. Denis and his two companions,
and a little this side of Paris was the fairest gallows I ever saw,
built on Montfaucon, which consisted of fourteene fair pillars of
freestone." He notes "the fourteene gates of Paris, the goodly
buildings, mostly of fair, white stone and"--a detail always
unpleasantly impressed on travellers--"the evil-smelling streets, which
are the dirtiest and the most stinking I ever saw in any city in my
life. Lutetia! well dothe it brooke being so called from the Latin word
_lutum_, which signifieth dirt." Coryat was impressed by the
bridges--"the goodly bridge of white freestone nearly finished (the Pont
Neuf); a famous bridge that far exceedeth this, having one of the
fairest streets in Paris called our Ladies street; the bridge of
Exchange where the goldsmiths live; St. Michael's bridge, and the bridge
of Birds." He admires the "Via Jacobea, full of bookesellers' faire
shoppes, most plentifully furnished with bookes, and the fair building,
very spacious and broad, where the Judges sit in the Palais de Justice,
the roofs sumptuously gilt and embossed, with an exceeding multitude of
great, long bosses hanging downward." Coryat next visited the fine
quadrangle of the Louvre, whose outside was exquisitely wrought with
festoons, and decked with many stately pillars and images. From Queen
Mary's bedroom he went to a room[125] "which excelleth not only all that
are now in the world but also all that were since the creation thereof,
even a gallery, a perfect description whereof would require a large
volume, with a roofe of most glittering and admirable beauty. Yea, so
unspeakably fair is it that a man can hardly comprehend it in his mind
that hath not seen it with his bodily eyes." The Tuileries gardens were
the finest he ever beheld for length of delectable walks.

Next day Coryat saw the one thing above all he desired to see, "that
most rare ornament of learning Isaac Casaubon," who told him to observe
"a certain profane, superstitious ceremony of the papists--a bedde
carried after a very ethnicall manner, or rather a canopy in the form of
a bedde, under which the Bishop of the city, with certain priests, carry
the Sacrament. The procession of Corpus Christi," he adds, "though the
papists esteemed it very holy, was methinks very pitiful. The streets
were sumptuously adorned with paintings and rich cloth of arras, the
costliest they could provide, the shews of Our Lady street being so
hyperbolical in pomp that it exceedeth all the rest by many degrees.
Upon public tables in the streets they exposed rich plate as ever I saw
in my life, exceeding costly goblets and what not tending to pomp; and
on the middest of the tables stood a golden crucifix and divers other
gorgeous images. Following the clergy, in capes exceeding rich, came
many couples of little singing choristers, which, pretty innocent
punies, were so egregiously deformed that moved great pity in any
relenting spectator, being so clean shaved round about their heads that
a man could perceive no more than the very rootes of their hair."

At the royal suburb Coryat saw "St. Denis, his head enclosed in a
wonderful, rich helmet, beset with exceeding abundant pretious stones,"
but the skull itself he "beheld not plainly, only the forepart through a
pretty, crystall glass, and by light of a wax candle."



Louis XIII. was nine years of age when he came to the throne in 1610.
For a time the regent, Marie de' Medici, was content to suffer the great
Sully to hold office, but soon favouritism and the greed of princes, to
the ill-hap of France, drove him in the prime of life from Paris into
the retirement of his château of Villebon, and a feeble and venal
Florentine, Concini, took his place. The Prince of Condé, now a
Catholic, the Duke of Mayenne, and a pack of nobles who professed
solicitude for the wrongs of the _pauvre peuple_, fell upon the royal
treasury like hounds on their quarry. The court, to meet their demands,
neglected to pay the poor annuitants of the Hôtel de Ville, and this was
the only result to the _pauvre peuple_. In 1614, so critical was the
financial situation, that the States-General were called to meet in the
Salle Bourbon,[126] but to little purpose. Recriminations were bandied
between the noblesse and the Tiers Etat. The insolence of the former was
intolerable. One member of the Tiers was thrashed by a noble and could
obtain no redress. The clergy refused to bear any of the public burdens.
The orator of the Tiers, speaking on his knees according to usage,
warned the court that despair might make the people conscious that a
soldier was none other than a peasant bearing arms, and that when the
vine-dresser took up the arquebus he might one day cease to be the anvil
and become the hammer. But there was no thought for the common weal;
each order wrangled for its own privileges, and their meeting-place was
closed on the pretext that the hall was wanted for a royal ballet. No
protest was raised, and the States-General never met again until the
fateful meeting at Versailles, in 1789, when a similar pretext was
tried, with very different consequences. Among the clergy, however, sat
a young priest of twenty-nine years of age, chosen for their orator,
Armand Duplessis de Richelieu, who made rapid strides to fame.

In 1616 the nobles were once more in arms, and Condé was again bought
off. The helpless court was in pitiful straits and the country drifting
to civil war, when Richelieu, who, meanwhile, had been made a royal
councillor and minister for foreign affairs, took the Condé business in
hand. He had the prince arrested in the Louvre itself and flung into the
Bastille; the noble blackmailers were declared guilty of treason, and
three armies marched against them. The triumph of the court seemed
assured, when Louis XIII., now sixteen years of age, suddenly freed
himself from tutelage, and with the help of the favourite companion of
his pastimes, Albert de Luynes, son of a soldier of fortune, determined
to rid himself of Concini. The all-powerful Florentine, on 24th April
1617, was crossing the bridge that spanned the fosse of the Louvre when
the captain of the royal Guards, who was accompanied by a score of
gentlemen, touched him on the shoulder and told him he was the king's
prisoner. "I, a prisoner!" exclaimed Concini, moving his hand towards
his sword. Before he could utter another word he fell dead, riddled with
pistol shots; Louis appeared at a window, and all the Louvre resounded
with cries of "_Vive le roi!_" Concini's wife, to whom he owed his
ascendency over the queen-mother, was accused of sorcery, beheaded and
burnt on the Place de Grève; Marie was packed off to Blois and Richelieu
exiled to his bishopric of Luçon. De Luynes, enriched by the confiscated
wealth of the Concini, now became supreme, only to demonstrate a pitiful
incapacity. The nobles had risen and were rallying round Marie; the
Protestants were defying the state; but Luynes was impotent, and soon
went to a dishonoured grave, leaving chaos behind him.

[Illustration: PONT NEUF.]

Richelieu's star was now in the ascendant. The king drew near to his
mother and both turned to the one man who seemed able to knit together
the distracted state. A cardinal's hat was obtained for him from Rome,
and the illustrious churchman ruled France for eighteen years.
Everything went down before his commanding genius, his iron will and his
indefatigable industry. "I reflect long," said he, "before making a
decision, but once my mind is made up, I go straight to the goal. I mow
down all before me, and cover all with my scarlet robe." The Huguenots,
backed by the English, aimed at founding an independent republic:
Richelieu captured La Rochelle[127] and wiped them out as a political
party. The great nobles sought to divide power with the crown: he
demolished their fortresses, made them bow their necks to the royal yoke
or chopped off their heads. They defied the king's edict against
duelling: the Count of Bouteville, the most notorious duellist of his
time, and the Count of Les Chapelles were sent to the scaffold for
having defiantly fought duels in the Place Royale in open noonday, at
which the Marquis of Buffy was killed. The execution made a profound
impression, for the count was a Montmorency, and the Condés, the
Orleans, the Montmorencys and all the most powerful nobles brought
pressure to bear on the king and swore that the sentence should never be
carried out. But Richelieu was firm as a tower. "It is an infamous
thing," he told the king, "to punish the weak alone; they cast no
baleful shade: we must keep discipline by striking down the mighty."
Richelieu crushed the Parlement and revolutionised the provincial
administrations. He maintained seven armies in the field, and two navies
on the seas at one and the same time. He added four provinces to
France--Alsace, Lorraine, Artois and Rousillon, humiliated Austria and
exalted his country to the proud position of dominant factor in European
politics. He foiled plot after plot and crushed rebellion. The
queen-mother, Gaston Duke of Orleans her second son and heir to the
throne, the Marquis of Cinq-Mars the king's own favourite--each tried a
fall with the great minister, but was thrown and punished with pitiless
severity. Marie herself was driven to exile--almost poverty--at
Brussels, and died a miserable death at Cologne. The despicable Gaston,
who twice betrayed his friends to save his own skin, was watched, and
when the queen, Anne of Austria, gave birth to a son after twenty years
of marriage, he was deprived of his dignities and possessions and
interned at Blois. The Marquis of Cinq-Mars, and the last Duke of
Montmorency, son and grandson of two High Constables of France, felt the
stroke of the headsman's axe.

In 1642, when the mighty cardinal had attained the highest pinnacle of
success and fame, a mortal disease declared itself. His physicians
talked the usual platitudes of hope, but he would have none of them, and
sent for the _curé_ of St. Eustache. "Do you pardon your enemies?" the
priest asked. "I have none, save those of the state," replied the dying
cardinal, and, pointing to the Host, exclaimed, "There is my judge." "At
my entry to office," he wrote to Louis XIII. in his political testament,
"your Majesty divided the powers of the state with the Huguenots; the
great nobles demeaned themselves as if they were not your subjects; the
governors of provinces acted as independent sovereigns. In a word, the
majesty of the crown was degraded to the lowest depths of debasement and
was hardly recognisable at all." We have seen how the cardinal changed
all that; yet Louis heard of his death without emotion, and simply
remarked--"Well, a great politician has gone." In six months his royal
master was gone too. Louis has one claim to distinction; he was the
first king of France since St. Louis who lived a clean life.


Paris, under Marie de' Medici and Richelieu, saw many and important
changes. In 1612 a new Jacobin monastery was founded in the Rue St.
Honoré for the reformed Dominicans, destined to be later the theatre of
Robespierre's triumphs and to house the great Jacobin revolutionary
club.[128] In the same year the queen-regent bought a château and garden
from the Duke of Piney-Luxembourg, and commissioned her architect,
Solomon Debrosse, to build a new palace in the style of the Pitti at
Florence. The work was begun in 1615, and resulted in the picturesque
but somewhat Gallicised Italian palace which, after descending to Gaston
of Orleans and his daughter the Grande Mademoiselle, ends a chequered
career as palace, prison, house of peers, socialist-meeting place by
becoming the respectable and dull Senate-house of the third Republic.
The beautiful Renaissance gardens have suffered but few changes; adorned
with Debrosse's picturesque fountain, they form one of the most charming
parks in Paris. The same architect was employed to restore the old Roman
aqueduct of Arceuil and finished his work in 1624. In 1614 the
equestrian statue in bronze of Henry IV., designed by Giovanni da
Bologna, and presented to Marie by Cosimo II. of Tuscany, reached Paris
after many vicissitudes and was set up on the Pont Neuf by Pierre de
Fouqueville, who carved for it a beautiful pedestal of marble, whereon
were inscribed the most signal events and victories of Henry's reign.
This priceless statue was melted down for cannon during the Revolution,
and for years its site was occupied by a _café_. In 1818, during the
Restoration, another statue of Henry IV., by Lemot, cast from the melted
figure of Napoleon I. on the top of the Vendôme column, was erected
where it now stands. The founder, who was an imperialist, is said to
have avenged the emperor by placing pamphlets attacking the Restoration
in the horse's belly.

In the seventeenth century the Pont Neuf was one of the busiest centres
of Parisian life. Streams of coaches and multitudes of foot-passengers
passed by. Booths of all kinds displayed their wares; quacks,
mountebanks, ballad-singers and puppet-shows, drew crowds of listeners.
Evelyn describes the footway as being three to four feet higher than the
road; and at the foot of the bridge, says the traveller, is a
water-house, "whereon, at a great height, is the story of our Saviour
and the Woman of Samaria pouring water out of a bucket. Above is a very
rare dyall of several motions with a chime. The water is conveyed by
huge wheels, pumps and other engines, from the river beneath." This was
the famous Château d'Eau, or La Samaritaine, erected in 1608 to pump
water from the Seine and distribute it to the Louvre and the Tuileries
palaces. The timepiece was an _industrieuse horloge_, which told the
hours, days, and months.

[Illustration: PONT NEUF.]

In 1624 Henry the Fourth's great scheme for enlarging and completing the
Louvre was committed by Richelieu to his architect, Jacques Lemercier,
and the first stone of the Pavilion de l'Horloge was laid on 28th June
by the king. Lemercier was great enough and modest enough to adopt his
predecessor's design, and having erected the pavilion, continued
Lescot's west wing northwards, turned the north-west angle and carried
the north wing to about a fourth of its designed extent. The Pavilion
de l'Horloge thus became the central feature of the west wing, which was
exactly doubled in extent. The south-east and north-east towers of the
eastern wing of the old Gothic Louvre, however, remained intact, and
even as late as 1650 Sylvestre's drawing shows us the south-east tower
still standing and the east wing only partly demolished. Lemercier also
designed a grand new palace for the cardinal north of the Rue St.
Honoré, which was completed in 1636. Richelieu's passion for the drama
led him to include two theatres as part of his scheme: a small one to
hold about six hundred spectators, and a larger one, which subsequently
became the opera-house, capacious enough to seat three thousand.
Magnificent galleries, painted by Philippe de Champaigne and other
artists, represented the chief events in the cardinal's reign, and were
hung with the portraits of the great men of France. The courts were
adorned with carvings of ships' prows and anchors, symbolising the
cardinal's function as Grand Master of Navigation; spacious gardens,
with an avenue of chestnut trees, which cost 300,000 francs to train,
added to its splendours.

In this palace the great minister--busy with a yet vaster scheme for
building an immense Place Ducale, north of the palace--passed away
leaving its stately magnificence to the king, whose widow, Anne of
Austria, inhabited it during the regency with her sons, Louis XIV. and
Philip Duke of Orleans, the founder of the Bourbon-Orleans family. The
famous architect, François Mansard, was employed by her to extend the
Palais Royal as it was then called, which subsequently became infamous
as the scene of the orgies of Philip's son during his regency. The
buildings were further extended by Philip Egalité, who destroyed the
superb plantation of chestnut trees and erected shops along the sides of
the gardens, which as _cafés_ and gambling-saloons became a haunt of
fashionable vice and dissipation in the late eighteenth century. The
gardens of the royal palaces had always been open to well-dressed
citizens, but notices forbade entrance to beggars, servants, and all
ill-clad persons under pain of imprisonment, the carcan, and other
graver penalties. Egalité, however, to win popularity, opened his
gardens without restriction, and they soon became the forum of the
revolutionary agitation. Here Camille Desmoulins declaimed his
impassioned orations and called Paris to arms. The gambling-hells, of
which there were over three hundred, survived the Revolution, and
Blucher and many an officer of the allied armies lost immense sums
there. The Palais Royal became subsequently the residence of the Orleans
family, and now serves as the meeting-place of the Conseil d'Etat.

In the early seventeenth century nine lovers of literature associated
themselves for the purpose of holding a friendly symposium, where they
discoursed of books, and read and criticised each other's compositions;
the meetings were followed by a modest repast and a peripatetic
discussion. The masterful cardinal, who would rule the French language
as well as the state, called the nine together, and in 1635 organised
them into an Académie Française, whose function should be to perfect and
watch over the purity of the French tongue. The Parlement granted
letters-patent, limited the number of academicians to forty, and
required them to take cognisance of French authors and the French
language alone. The original nine, however, were far from gratified, and
always regretted the "golden age" of early days. Richelieu established
the Jardin des Plantes for the use of medical students, where
demonstrations in botany were given; he rebuilt the college and church
of the Sorbonne where his monument,[129] a masterpiece of sculpture by
Girardon from Lebrun's designs, may still be seen. He cheapened the
postal service,[130] established the Royal Press at the Louvre which in
twenty years published seventy Greek, Latin, Italian and French
classics. He issued the first political weekly gazette in France, was a
liberal patron of men of letters and of artists, and saw the birth and
fostered the growth of the great period of French literary and artistic

Another of Henry the Fourth's plans for the aggrandisement of Paris was
carried out by the indefatigable minister. As early as 867 the bishops
of Paris had been confirmed by royal charter in their possession of the
two islands east of the Cité, the Isle Notre Dame and Isle aux Vaches.
From time immemorial these had been used as timber-yards, and in 1616
the chapter of the cathedral was induced to treat with Christophe Marie,
contractor for the bridges of France and others, who agreed to fill in
the channel,[131] which separated the islands; to cover them with broad
streets of houses and quays, and to build certain bridges; but expressly
contracted never to fill up the arm of the Seine between the Isle Notre
Dame, and the Cité. The first stone of the new bridge which was to
connect the islands with the north bank was laid by Louis XIII. in 1614
and named Pont Marie, after the contractor. In 1664 a church, dedicated
to St. Louis, was begun on the site of an earlier chapel by Levau, but
not completed until 1726 by Donat.

The new quarter soon attracted the attention of rich financiers, civic
officers, merchants and lawyers, some of whose hôtels were designed by
Levau, and decorated by Lebrun and Leseur. Madame Pompadour's brother
lived there; the Duke of Lauzan, husband of the Grande Mademoiselle,
lived in his hôtel on the Quai d'Anjou (No. 17); Voltaire lived with
Madame du Châtelet in the Hôtel Lambert (No. 1 Quai d'Anjou). To the
_précieuses_ of Molière's time the Isle St. Louis (for so it was called)
became the Isle de Delos, around whose quays the gallants and ladies of
the period were wont to promenade at nightfall. _The Isle_, as it is now
familiarly known, is one of the most peaceful quarters of Paris, and
has a strangely provincial aspect to the traveller who paces its quiet

In 1622 Paris was raised from its subjection to the Metropolitan of
Sens, and became for the first time the seat of an archbishopric; the
diocese was made to correspond to the old territories of the Parisii.

Among the many evils attendant on a monarchy, which Samuel recited to
the children of Israel, that of the possibility of a regency might well
have found place. Louis XIV. was less than five years of age when his
father died, and once again the great nobles turned the difficulties of
the situation to their own profit. The queen-regent, Anne of Austria,
had retained in office Cardinal Mazarin, Richelieu's faithful disciple,
chosen by him to continue the traditions of his policy. The new
cardinal-minister, scion of an old Sicilian family, was a typical
Italian; he had none of his predecessor's virile energy and directness
of purpose, but ruled by his subtle wit and cool, calculating patience.
"Time and I," was his device. He was an excellent judge of men, and
profoundly distrusted "the unlucky," always satisfying himself that a
man was "lucky," before he employed him. Conscious of his foreign
origin, Mazarin hesitated to take strong measures, and advised a policy
of conciliation with the disaffected nobles. Anne filled their pockets,
and for a time the whole language of the court is said to have consisted
of the five little words "_La reine est si bonne_." But the ambitious
courtiers soon aimed at higher game, and a plot was discovered to
assassinate the foreign cardinal. The Duke of Beaufort, chief
conspirator, a son of the Duke of Vendôme, and grandson of Henry IV., by
Gabrielle d'Estrées, was imprisoned in the keep at Vincennes, and his
associates interned at their châteaux.

The finances which Richelieu had left in so flourishing a condition were
soon exhausted by the lavish benevolence of the court, and were
unhappily in the hands of Emery (a clever but cynical official, who had
formerly been a fraudulent bankrupt), whose rigorous exactions and
indifference to public feeling aroused the indignation of the whole
nation. In 1646 23,800 defaulters lay rotting in the jails, and an
attempt to enforce an odious tax on all merchandise entering Paris led
to an explosion of popular wrath. The Parlement, by the re-assertion of
its claims to refuse the registration of an obnoxious decree of the
crown, made itself the champion of public justice. The four sovereign
courts of the Parlement met in the hall of St. Louis, and refused to
register the tax. "The Parlement growled," said the Cardinal de Retz,
"and the people awoke and groped about for laws and found none." Anne
was furious and made the boy-king hold a "bed[132] of justice" to
enforce the registration of the decree. But the Parlement stood firm,
declared itself the guardian of the public and private weal, claiming
even to reform abuses and to discuss and vote on schemes of taxation. So
critical was the situation that the court was forced to bend, and to
postpone the humiliation of the Parlement to a more convenient season.
The glorious issue of the campaigns of Condé against the Houses of Spain
and Austria seemed to offer a fitting occasion. On 26th August 1648,
while a Te Deum was being sung at Notre Dame for the victory of Lens,
and a grand trophy of seventy-three captured flags was displayed to the
people, three of the most stubborn members of the Parlement were
arrested. One escaped, but while the venerable Councillor Broussel was
being hustled into a carriage, a cry was raised, which stirred the whole
of Paris to insurrection. In the excitement a street porter was shot by
a captain of the Guards, the Marquis of Meilleraye, and the next morning
the court, aroused by cries of "Liberty and Broussel," found the streets
of Paris barricaded and the citizens in arms, even children of five or
six years carrying poignards. De Retz, the suffragan archbishop of
Paris, came in his robes to entreat Anne to appease the people, but was
snubbed for his pains. "It is a revolt," the queen cried, "to imagine a
revolt possible; these are silly tales of those who desire it: the king
will enforce order." De Retz, angry and insulted, left to join the
insurrection and to become its leader. The venerable president of the
Parlement, Molé, and the whole body of members next repaired to the
Palais Royal with no better success: the queen's only answer was a gibe.
As they returned crestfallen from the Palais Royal they were driven back
by the infuriated people, who threatened them with death, and clamoured
for Broussel's release or Mazarin as a hostage. Nearly all the
councillors fled, but the president, with exalted courage, faced them
and, answering gravely, as if in his judgment-seat, said, "If you kill
me, all my needs will be six feet of earth": he strode on with calm
self-possession, amid a shower of missiles and threats, to the hall of
St. Louis. The echo of Cromwell's triumph in England, however, seemed to
have reached the Palais Royal, and the queen-regent was at length
induced to treat. The demands of the people were granted and Broussel
was liberated, amid scenes of tumultuous joy.

In February of the next year the regency made an effort to reassert its
authority. The queen and the royal princes left Paris for the palace of
St. Germain and gathered an army under Condé: the Parlement taxed
themselves heavily, tried their hands at organising a citizen militia,
and allied themselves with the popular Duke of Beaufort, now at liberty,
and leader of a troop of brilliant but giddy young nobles. The Bastille
was captured by the Parlement, and the university promised its support
and a subsidy. This was the origin of the civil war of the Fronde, one
of the most extraordinary contests in history; its name is derived from
the puerile street fights with slings of the printers' devils and
schoolboys of Paris. The incidents of the war read like scenes in a
comic opera. A hundred thousand armed citizens were besieged by eight
thousand soldiers. The evolution of a burlesque form of cavalry, called
the corps of the _Portes Cochères_, formed by a conscription of one
horseman for every house with a carriage gate, became the derision of
the royal army. They issued forth, beplumed and beribboned, and fled
back to the city, amid the execrations of the people, at the sight of a
handful of troops. Every defeat--and the Parisians were always
defeated--formed a subject for songs and mockery. Councils of war were
held in taverns, and De Retz was seen at a sitting of the Parlement in
the hall of St. Louis with a poignard sticking out of his pocket: "There
is the archbishop's prayer-book," said the people. The more
public-spirited members of the Parlement soon, however, tired of the
folly. Mazarin won over De Retz by the offer of a cardinal's hat, and a
compromise was effected with the court, which returned to Paris in April
1649. The people were still bitter against Mazarin, and invaded the
Palais de Justice, demanding the cardinal's signature to the treaty,
that it might be burned by the common hangman.

Successful generals are bad masters, and the jackboot was now supreme at
court. Soon Condé's insolent bearing and extravagant demands, and the
vanity of his _entourage_ of young nobles, dubbed _petits maîtres_,
became intolerable: he was arrested at the Louvre and sent to the keep
at Vincennes. But Mazarin, thinking himself secure, delayed the promised
reward to De Retz, who joined the disaffected friends of Condé: and the
court, again foiled, was forced to release Condé, surrender the two
princes, and exile the hated Mazarin, who, none the less, ruled the
storm by his subtle policy from Cologne. Condé, disgusted alike with
queen and Parlement, now fled to the south, and raised the standard of

[Illustration: NOTRE DAME.]

The second phase of the wars of the Fronde became a more serious matter.
Turenne, won over by the court, was given command of the royal forces
and moved against Condé. The two armies, after indecisive battles, raced
to Paris and fought for its possession outside the Porte St. Antoine.
The Frondeurs occupied what is now the Faubourg St. Antoine: the
royalists the heights of Charonne to the east. It was a stubborn and
bloody contest. The armies were led by the two greatest captains of the
age, and fought under the eyes of their king, who with the queen-mother
watched the struggle from the eminence now crowned by the cemetery of
Père la Chaise. "I have seen not one Condé to-day, but a dozen," cried
Turenne, as victory inclined to the Royalists. The last word was,
however, with the Duke of Orleans: while he sat hesitating in the
Luxembourg, the Grande Mademoiselle ordered the guns of the Bastille to
be turned against Turenne, and the citizens opened the gates to Condé.
Again his incorrigible insolence and brutality made Paris too hot for
him, and with the disaffected princes he returned to Flanders to seek
help from his country's enemies. It was a fatal mistake, and Mazarin was
not slow to turn it to advantage. He prudently retired while public
feeling was won over to the young king, who was soon entreated by the
Parlement and citizens to return to Paris. When the time was ripe,
Mazarin had the Duke of Orleans interned at Blois, Condé was condemned
to death _in contumacio_: De Retz was sent to Vincennes. Ten councillors
of the Parlement were imprisoned or degraded, and in three months
Mazarin returned to Paris with the pomp and equipage of a sovereign. It
was the end of the Fronde, and of the attempt of the Parlement, a venal
body[133] devoid of representative basis, to imitate the functions of
the English House of Commons. The crown emerged from the contest more
absolute than before, and Louis never forgot the days when he was a
fugitive with his mother, and driven to lie on a hard mattress at the
palace of St. Germain. In 1655 the Parlement of Paris met to prepare
remonstrances against a royal edict: the young king heard of it while
hunting at Vincennes, made his way to the hall of St. Louis
booted[134] and spurred, rated the councillors and dissolved the

The years following on the internal peace were a period of triumphant
foreign war and diplomacy. Mazarin achieved his purpose of marrying the
Infanta of Spain to his royal master; he added to and confirmed
Richelieu's territorial gains and guided France at last to triumph over
the Imperial House of Austria. On 9th March 1661, after handing Louis a
code of instructions for future guidance and commending his ministers to
the royal favour, the great Italian, "whose heart was French if his
tongue were not," confronted death at Vincennes with firmness and
courage. Mazarin was, however, a costly servant, who bled his adopted
country to satisfy his love for the arts and splendours of life, to
furnish dowries to his nieces, and to exalt his family. His vast palace
(now the Bibliothèque Nationale), with its library of 35,000 volumes,
was furnished with princely splendour. He left 2,000,000 livres to found
a college for the gratuitous education of sixty sons of gentlemen from
the four provinces--Spanish, Italian, German and Flemish--recently added
to the crown, in order that French culture and grace might be diffused
among them; they were to be taught the use of arms, horsemanship,
dancing, Christian piety and _belles-lettres_. A vast domed edifice was
raised on the site of the Tour de Nesle, and became famous as the
college of the Four Nations. It was subsequently expropriated and given
by the Convention to the five learned academies of France, and is now
known as the Institut de France.




The century of Louis XIV., whose triumphs have been so extravagantly
celebrated by Voltaire, saw the culmination and declension of French
military glory, literary splendour, and regal magnificence. Never did
king of France inherit a more capable and patriotic generation of public
servants, trained as they had been under the two greatest administrators
the land had ever seen; never did king grasp the sceptre with more
absolute and unquestioned power. "_L'Etat c'est moi_," if not Louis'
words, were at least his guiding principle. Gone were the times of
cardinal dictators. When the ministers came after Mazarin's death to ask
the king whom they should now address themselves to, the answer came
like a thunderbolt: "To me!" and the Secretary for War, with affrighted
visage, hastened to the queen-mother, who only laughed. Alone among his
colleagues Mazarin knew his king, and warned them that there was enough
stuff in Louis to make four kings and one honest man.

What brilliant constellations of great men cast their fair influences
over the birth of Louis XIV.! "Sire," said Mazarin, when dying "I owe
you all--but I can partially acquit myself by leaving you Colbert."
Austere Colbert was a merchant's son of Rheims; his Atlantean shoulders
bore the burden of five modern ministries; his vehement industry,
admirable science and sterling honesty created order out of financial
chaos and found the sinews of war for an army of 300,000 men before the
Peace of Ryswick and 450,000 for the war of the Spanish succession; he
initiated, nurtured and perfected French industries; he created a navy
that crushed the combined English and Dutch fleets off Beachy Head,
swept the Channel for weeks, burnt English ports, carried terror into
English homes, and for a time paralysed English commerce. Louvois, his
colleague, organised an army that made his master the arbiter of Europe;
Condé and Turenne were its victorious captains. Vauban, greatest of
military engineers, captured towns in war and made them impregnable in
peace; fortified 333 cities and places, and shared with Louvois the
invention of the combined musket and bayonet, the deadliest weapon of
war as yet contrived. De Lionne, by masterly diplomacy, prepared and
cemented the conquests of victorious generals. Supreme in arts of peace
were Corneille, Molière, Racine, La Fontaine, Lebrun, Claude Lorrain,
Puget, Mansard, and Perrault. We shall learn in the sequel what the
Grand Monarque did with this unparalleled inheritance.

None of the great ones of the earth is so intimately known to us as the
magnificent histrion, whose tinselled grandeur and pompous egoism has
been laid bare by the Duke of St. Simon, prince of memoirists. Never has
the frippery of a court been shrivelled by such fierce and consuming
light glaring like a fiery sun on its meretricious splendours. And what
a court it is! What a gilded crowd of princes and paramours, harlots and
bastards, struts, fumes, intrigues through the Memoirs of the Duke of
St. Simon! By a few strokes of his pen he etches for us, in words that
bite like acid, the fools and knaves, the wife-beaters and adulterers,
the cardsharpers and gamesters, the grovelling sycophants with their
petty struggles for precedence or favour, their slang, their gluttony
and drunkenness, their moral and physical corruption.

[Illustration: PLACE DU CARROUSEL.]

External grandeur and regal presence,[135] a profound belief in his
divinely-appointed despotism, and in earlier years a capacity for
work rare among his predecessors, the lord of France certainly
possessed. "He had a grand mien," says St. Simon, "and looked a
veritable king of the bees." Much has been made of Louis' incomparable
grace and respectful courtesy to women; but the courtesy of a king who
doffs his hat to every serving wench yet contrives a staircase to
facilitate the debauching of his queen's maids-of-honour, and exacts of
his mistresses and the ladies of his court submission to his will and
pleasure, even under the most trying of physical disabilities, is at
least wanting in consistency. The king's mental equipment was less than
mediocre; he was barely able to read and write, was ignorant of the
commonest facts of history, and fell into the grossest blunders in
public. Like all small-minded men, Louis was jealous of superior merit
and preferred mediocrity rather than genius in his ministers. Small
wonder that his reign ended in shame and disaster.

On the 6th of June 1662, the young king, notwithstanding much public
misery consequent on two years of bad harvests, organised a magnificent
carrousel (tilting) in the garden that fronted the Tuileries. Five
companies of nobles, each led by the king or one of the princes, were
arrayed in gorgeous costumes as Romans, Persians, Turks, Armenians and
Savages. Louis, who of course led the Romans, was followed by a superb
train of many squires, twenty-four pages, fifty horses each led by two
grooms, and fifty footmen dressed as lictors, carrying gilded fasces.
The royal princes headed similar processions. So great was the display
of jewels that all the precious stones in the world seemed brought
together; so richly were the costumes of the knights and the trappings
of the horses embroidered with gold and silver that the cloth beneath
could barely be seen. The king and the princes rode by with a prodigious
quantity of diamonds and rubies glittering on their costumes and
equipages; an immense amphitheatre afforded seats for a multitude of
spectators, and in a smaller pavilion, richly gilded, sat the two queens
of France, the queen of England, and the royal princesses. The first
day was spent in tilting at Medusa heads and heads of Moors: the second
at rings. Louis is said to have greatly distinguished himself by his
skill. Maria Theresa, his young queen, distributed the prizes, and the
garden was afterwards named the Place du Carrousel.

Louis, however, hated Paris, for his forced exile during the troubles of
the Fronde rankled in his memory. Nor were the associations of St.
Germain any more pleasant. A lover of the chase and all too prone to
fall into the snares of "fair, fallacious looks and venerial trains,"
the retirement of his father's hunting lodge at Versailles, away from
the prying eyes and mocking tongues of the Parisians, early attracted
him. There he was wont to meet his mistress, Madame de la Vallière, and
there he determined to erect a vast pleasure-palace and gardens. The
small château, built by Lemercier in the early half of the seventeenth
century, was handed over to Levau in 1668, who, carefully respecting his
predecessor's work in the Cour de Marbre, constructed two immense wings,
which were added to by J. H. Mansard, as the requirements of the court
grew. The palace stood in the midst of a barren, sandy plain, but Louis'
pride demanded that Nature herself should bend to his will, and an army
of artists, engineers and gardeners was concentrated there, who at the
sacrifice of incredible wealth and energy, had so far advanced the work
that the king was able to come into residence in 1682.

In spite of seas of reservoirs fed by costly hydraulic machinery at
Marly, which lifted the waters of the Seine to an aqueduct that led to
Versailles, the supply was deemed inadequate, and orders were given to
divert the river Eure between Chartres and Maintenon to the gardens of
the palace. For years an army of thirty thousand men were employed in
this one task, at a cost of money and human life greater than that of
many a campaign. So heavy was the mortality in the camp that it was
forbidden to speak of the sick, and above all of the dead, who were
carried away in cartloads by night for burial. All that remains of this
cruel folly are a few ruins at Maintenon.

After the failure of this scheme, subterranean water-courses were
contrived. The _plaisir du roi_ must be sated at any cost, and at length
a magnificent garden was created, filled with a population of statues
and adorned with gigantic fountains. Soon the king tired of the bustle
and noise of Versailles, and a miserable and swampy site at Marly, the
haunt of toads and serpents and creeping things, was transformed into a
splendid hermitage. Hills were levelled, great trees brought from
Compiègne, most of which soon died and were as quickly replaced;
fish-ponds, adorned by exquisite paintings, were made and unmade; woods
were metamorphosed into lakes, where the king and a select company of
courtiers disported themselves in gondolas; cascades refreshed their
ears in summer heat. Precious paintings, statues and costly furniture
charmed the eye inside the hermitage--and all to receive the king and
his intimates from Wednesday to Saturday on a few occasions in the year.
St. Simon writes of what he saw, and estimates that Marly cost more than
Versailles.[136] Nothing remains to-day of all this splendour: it was
neglected by Louis' successors and sold in lots during the Revolution.

After a life of wanton licentiousness, Louis, at the age of forty, was
captivated by the mature charms of a widow of forty-three, a colonial
adventuress of noble descent, who after the death of her husband, the
crippled comic poet Scarron, became governess to the king's illegitimate
children by Madame de Montespan. Soon after the death of the queen Maria
Theresa, the widow Scarron, known to history as Madame de Maintenon, was
secretly married to her royal lover, who for the remainder of his life
was her docile slave. At the famous military manoeuvres at Compiègne
after the Peace of Ryswick, organised to display the resources of the
country and to enable the court to witness the circumstance of a great
siege, Louis was seen, hat in hand, bending over Madame de Maintenon's
sedan-chair, which stood at a coign of vantage on the ramparts,
explaining to her the various movements of the troops. "I could describe
the scene," says St. Simon, "as clearly forty years hence as I do now."
An _aide-de-camp_, approaching from below to ask the king's orders, was
dumbfoundered by the sight and could scarcely stammer out his message.
The effect on the soldiers was indescribable: every one asked what that
chair meant over which the king was bending uncovered.


A narrow bigot in matters of religion and completely under the influence
of fanatics, Madame de Maintenon persuaded Louis that a crusade against
heresy would be a fitting atonement for his past sins. In 1681 she
writes, "The king is seriously thinking of his salvation and of that of
his subjects, and if God spares him to us there will soon be but one
religion in his kingdom." Colbert, who had always stood by the
Protestants, died (1683) in disfavour, protesting that if he had done
for God what he had done for the king, he would have been saved ten
times over. At first political pressure and money were tried; a renegade
Protestant was given control of a "conversion fund," and six livres were
paid for each convert. Children were seduced from their parents; brutal
dragoons were quartered on Protestant families, and as a result many of
the wretched people submitted. "Every post," wrote Madame de Maintenon,
"brings tidings which fill the king with joy; conversions take place
daily by thousands." Thousands too, proved stubborn, and on 22nd October
1685, the first blow was struck. By the revocation of the Edict of
Nantes the charter of Protestant liberties was destroyed, and those who
had given five out of ten marshals to France, including the great
Turenne, were denied the right of civil existence. Whole cities were
depopulated; tens of thousands (for the Huguenots had long ceased to
exist as a political force) of law-abiding citizens expatriated
themselves and carried their industries to enrich foreign lands.[137]
Many pastors were martyred, and drummers were stationed at the foot of
the scaffold to drown their exhortations to the spectators. Let us not
say persecution is ineffective; Duruy estimates the Calvinist population
of France before the revocation of the Edict at 1,000,000: in 1870 at
15,000 to 18,000. On the whole, the measure was approved by the nation;
Racine, La Fontaine, the great Jansenist Arnault, as well as Bossuet and
Massillon, applauded. The king was hailed a second Constantine, and
believed he had revived the times of the apostles. But the consequences
to France were far-reaching and disastrous. In less than two months the
Catholic James II. of England was a discrowned fugitive, and the
Calvinist William of Orange, the inveterate enemy of France, sat in his
place; England's pensioned neutrality was turned to bitter hostility,
and every Protestant power in Europe stirred to fierce resentment. Seven
years of war followed, which exhausted the immense resources of France;
seven years,[138] rich in glory perhaps, but lean years indeed to the
dumb millions who paid the cost in blood and money. "Nearly the tenth
part of the nation," writes Vauban, after the Peace of Ryswick, "is
reduced to beggary; of the nine other parts, five are little removed
from the same condition; three-tenths are very straitened; the remaining
tenth counts no more than a hundred thousand, of which not ten thousand
may be classed as very well off" (_fort à l'aise_.)

Three short years of peace and recuperation ensued, when the acceptance
of the crown of Spain by Louis' grandson, Philip of Anjou, in spite of
Maria Theresa's solemn renunciation for herself and her posterity of
all claim to the Spanish succession, roused all the old jealousy of
France and brought her secular enemy, the House of Austria, to a new
coalition against her.

Woe to the nation whose king is thrall to women. The manner in which
this momentous step was taken is characteristic of Louis. Two councils
were held in Madame de Maintenon's room; her advice was asked by the
king; and apparently turned the scale in favour of acceptance. "For a
hundred years," says Taine, "from 1672 to 1774, every time a king of
France made war it was by pique or vanity, by family or private
interest, or by condescension to a woman." Still more amazing is the
fact that, for years, the court of Madrid was ruled by a Frenchwoman,
Madame des Ursins, the _camerera major_ of Philip's queen, who made and
unmade ministers, controlled all public appointments, and even persuaded
the French ambassador to submit all dispatches to her before sending
them to France. Madame de Maintenon was equally omnipotent at
Versailles; she decided what letters should or should not be shown to
the king, kept back disagreeable news, and held everybody in the hollow
of her hand, from humblest subject to most exalted minister. This was
the atmosphere from which men were sent to meet the new and more potent
combination of States that opposed the Spanish succession. Chamillart, a
pitiful creature of Madame de Maintenon's, sat in Colbert's place. Gone
were Turenne and Condé and Luxembourg; the armies of the descendant of
St. Louis were led by the Duke of Vendôme, a foul lecher, whose inhuman
vices went far to justify the gibe of Mephistopheles that men use their
reason "_um thierischer als jedes Thier zu sein_."

The victories of the Duke of Marlborough and of Prince Eugene spread
consternation at court. When, in 1704, the news of Blenheim oozed out at
Versailles, the king's grief was piteous to see. Scarce a noble family
but had one of its members killed, wounded, or a prisoner. Two years
later came the defeat of Ramillies, to be followed in three months by
the disaster at Turin. The balls and masquerades and play at Marly went
merrily on; but at news of the defeat of Oudenarde and the fall of
Lille, even the reckless courtiers were subdued, and for a month
gambling and even conversation ceased. At the sound of an approaching
horseman they ran hither and thither, with fear painted on their cheeks.
Wildest schemes for raising money were tried; a large sum was wasted on
mining for gold in the Pyrenees; taxes were levied on baptisms and
marriages. Sums raised for the relief of the poor and the maintenance of
highways were expropriated, and the wretched peasants were forced to
repair the roads without payment, some dying of starvation at their
work. The coinage was debased. King and courtiers, with ill-grace, sent
their plate to the mint. A plan for the recapture of Lille was mooted,
in which Louis was to take part, but, for lack of money, the king's
ladies were not to accompany him to the seat of war as they had hitherto
done.[139] The expedition was to remain a secret; but the infatuated
Louis could withhold nothing from Madame de Maintenon, and she never
rested until she had foiled the whole scheme and disgraced Chamillart,
who had concealed the preparations from her.

The court had now grown so accustomed to defeats that Malplaquet was
hailed as half a victory; but, in 1710, so desperate was the condition
of the treasury, that a financial and social _débâcle_ was imminent. The
Dauphin, on leaving the opera at Paris, had been assailed by crowds of
women shouting, "Bread! bread!" He only escaped by throwing them money
and promises, and never dared show his face in Paris again. To appease
the people, the poor were set to level the boulevard near St. Denis, and
were paid in doles of bread--bad bread. Even this failed them one
morning, and a woman who made some disturbance was dragged to the
pillory by the archers of the watch. An angry mob released her, and
proceeded to raid the bakers' shops. The ugly situation was saved only
by the firmness and sagacity of the popular Marshal Boufflers. Another
turn of the financial screw was now meditated, and, as the taxes had
already "drawn all the blood from his subjects, and squeezed out their
very marrow," the conscience of the lord of France was troubled. His
Jesuit confessor, Le Tellier, promised to consult the Sorbonne, whose
learned doctors decided that, since all the wealth of his subjects
rightly belonged to the king, he only took what was his own.


Towards the end of the seventeenth century, the quarrel between the
Jansenists and the Jesuits concerning subtle doctrinal differences had
grown acute through the publication of Pascal's immortal _Lettres
Provinciales_, and by Quesnel's _Réflexions Morales_ which the Jesuits
had succeeded in subjecting to papal condemnation. In 1709, Le Tellier
induced his royal penitent[140] to decree the destruction of one of the
two Jansenist establishments, and Port Royal des Champs, between
Versailles and Chevreuse, rendered famous by the piety and learning of
Arnault, Pascal and Nicolle, was doomed. On the night of 28th October
1709, the convent was surrounded by Gardes Françaises and Suisses, and
on the following morning the chief of the police, with a posse of
archers of the watch entered, produced a _lettre de cachet_, and gave
the nuns a quarter of an hour to prepare for deportation. The whole of
the sisters were then brutally expelled, "_comme on enlève les créatures
prostituées d'un lieu infâme_," says St. Simon, and scattered among
other religious houses in all directions. The friends of the buried
were bidden to exhume their dead, and all unclaimed bodies were flung
into a neighbouring cemetery, where dogs fought for them as for carrion.
The church was profaned, and all the conventual buildings were razed
like houses of regicides; the materials were sold in lots, and not one
stone was left on another; the very ground was ploughed up and sown,
"not, it is true with salt," adds St. Simon, and that was the only
favour shown.

Two years after the scene at Port Royal, amid the heartless gaiety of
the court, the Angel of Death was busy in Louis' household. On 14th
April 1711, the old king's only lawful son, the Grand Dauphin, expired;
on 12th February 1712, the second Dauphiness, the sweet and gentle
Adelaide of Savoy, the king's darling, died of a malignant fever; six
days later the Duke of Burgundy, her husband, was struck down; on 8th
March, the Duke of Brittany, their eldest child, followed them. Three
Dauphins had gone to the vaults of St. Denis in less than a year;
mother, father, son, had died in twenty-four days--a sweep of Death's
scythe, enough to touch even the hearts of courtiers. In a few days the
king gave orders for the usual play to begin at Marly, and the dice
rattled while the bodies of the Dauphin and Dauphiness lay yet unburied.
Well may St. Simon exclaim, "Are these princes made like other men?"

In 1712, some successes in Flanders enabled Louis to negotiate the Peace
of Utrecht. France retained her old boundaries, and a Bourbon remained
on the throne of Spain; but she was debased from her proud position of
arbiter of Europe, and the substantial profits of the war went to
England[141] and Austria.

In May 1714, the Duke of Berri, son of the Grand Dauphin, died, and the
sole direct heir to the throne was now the king's great-grandson, the
Duke of Anjou, a sickly child of five years. On September 1715, the
Grand Monarque made a calm and an edifying end to his long reign of
seventy-two years, declaring that he owed no man restitution, and
trusted in God's mercy for what he owed to the realm. He called the
young child, who was soon to be Louis XV., to his bedside, and
apparently without any sense of incongruity, exhorted him to remember
his God, to cherish peace, to avoid extravagance, and study the welfare
of his people. After receiving the last sacraments he repeated the
prayers for the dying in a firm voice and, calling on God's aid, passed
peacefully away. None but his official attendants, his priest and
physicians, saw the end: two days before, Madame de Maintenon had given
away all her furniture, and retired to St. Cyr.

The demolition of what remained of mediæval Paris proceeded apace during
Louis XIV.'s lifetime, and, at his death, the architectural features of
its streets were substantially those of the older Paris of to-day.
Colbert had taken up the costly legacy of the unfinished Louvre before
the petrified banalities of Versailles and Marly had engulfed their
millions, and, in 1660, the Hôtel de Bourbon was given over to the
housebreakers to make room for the new east wing of the palace. So
vigorously did they set to work that when Molière, whose company
performed there three days a week in alternation with the Italian opera,
came for the usual performance, he found the theatre half demolished. He
applied to the king, who granted him the temporary use of Richelieu's
theatre in the Palais Royal, and his first performance there was given
on 20th January 1661.


Levau was employed to carry on Lemercier's work on the Louvre, and had
succeeded in completing the north wing and the river front when Colbert
stayed further progress and ordered him to prepare a model in wood of
his proposed east wing. Levau was stupefied, for he had elaborated with
infinite study a design for this portion of the palace, which he
regarded as of supreme importance, and which he hoped would crown his
work. He had already laid the foundations and erected the scaffolding
when the order came. Levau made his model, and a number of architects
were invited to criticise it: they did, and unanimously condemned it.
Competitive designs were then submitted to Colbert, who took advantage
of Poussin's residence at Rome to send them to the great Italian
architects for their judgment. The Italians delivered a sweeping and
general condemnation, and Poussin advised that Bernini should be
employed to design a really noble building. Louis was delighted by the
suggestion, and the loan of the architect of the great colonnade of St.
Peter's was entreated of the pope by the king's own hand.

Bernini came to Paris where he was treated like a prince, and drew up a
scheme of classic grandeur. Levau's work on the east front was
destroyed, and in October 1665, Bernini's foundations were begun. The
new design, however, ignored the exigencies of existing work and of
internal convenience, and gave opportunities for criticisms and
intrigue, which the French architects, forgetting for the moment all
domestic rivalry, were not slow to make the most of. The offended
Italian left to winter in Rome, and was never seen in Paris again. A
munificent gift of 3000 gold louis and a pension of 12,000 livres
solaced his pride.

Among the designs originally submitted to Colbert was one which had not
been sent to Rome. It was the work of an amateur, Claude Perrault, a
physician by profession, whose brother, Charles Perrault, was chief
clerk in the Office of Works. This was now brought forth, and a
commission, consisting of Levau, Lebrun, and Claude Perrault, appointed
to report on its practicability. Levau promptly produced his own
discarded designs, which won Lebrun's approval, and both were submitted
to the king for a final decision. Louis was fascinated by the stately
classicism of Perrault's design, and this was adopted. "Architecture
must be in a bad state," said his rivals, "since it is put in the hands
of a physician." The new wing was raised and found to be seventy-two
feet too long, whereupon the whole of Levau's river front was masked by
a new façade, rendered necessary to correct the mistake, if mistake it
were, and the whole south wing[142] is in consequence much thicker than
any of the others which enclose the great quadrangle. Poor Levau is said
to have died of vexation and grief. Even to this day the north-east end
of Perrault's façade projects un-symmetrically beyond the line of the
north front. Perrault's work has been much criticised and much praised.
It evoked Fergusson's ecstatic admiration, and is eulogised by another
critic as one of the finest pieces of architecture in any age. Strangely
enough, neither of these ever saw, nor has anyone yet seen, more than a
partial and stunted realisation of Perrault's design (which involved a
broad and deep fosse), for, as the accompanying reproduction of a
drawing by Blondel demonstrates, the famous east front of the Louvre is
like a giant buried up to the knees, and the present first-floor windows
were an afterthought, their places having been designed as niches to
hold statues. The exactitude of Blondel's elevations was finally proved
in 1903 by the admirable insight of the present architect of the Louvre,
Monsieur G. Redon, who was led to undertake the excavations which
brought to light a section of Perrault's decorated basement, by noticing
that the windows of the ground floor evidently implied a lower order
beneath. This basement, seven and a half metres in depth, now buried,
was in Perrault's scheme designed to be exposed by a fosse of some
fifteen to twenty metres in width, and the whole elevation and symmetry
of the wing would have immensely gained by the carrying out of his

[Illustration: HOTEL DES INVALIDES.]

The construction, begun in 1665 was, however, interrupted in 1676, owing
to the king's abandonment of Paris. Colbert strenuously protested
against the neglect of the Louvre, and warned his master not to
squander his millions away from Paris and suffer posterity to measure
his grandeur by the ell of Versailles. It availed nothing. In 1670,
1,627,293 livres were allotted to the Louvre; in 1672 the sum had fallen
to 58,000 livres; in 1676 to 42,082; in 1680 the subsidies practically
ceased, and the great palace was utterly neglected until 1754 when
Perrault's work was feebly continued by Gabriel and Soufflot.

Two domed churches in the south of Paris--the Val de Grâce and St. Louis
of the Invalides--were also erected during Louis XIV.'s lifetime. Among
the many vows made by Anne of Austria during her twenty-two years'
unfruitful marriage was one made in the sanctuary of the nunnery of the
Val de Grâce, to build there a magnificent church to God's glory if she
were vouchsafed a Dauphin. At length, on 1st April 1645, the proud queen
was able to lead the future king, a boy of seven years, to lay the first
stone. The church was designed by F. Mansard on the model of St. Peter's
at Rome, and was finished by Lemercier and others. The
thirteenth-century nunnery had been transferred to Paris from Val
Profond in 1624, and was liberally patronised by Anne.

A refuge had been founded as early as Henry IV.'s reign in an old abbey
in the Faubourg St. Marcel, for old and disabled soldiers. Louis XIV.,
the greatest creator of _invalides_ France had seen, determined in 1670
to extend the foundation, and erect a vast hospital, capable of
accommodating his aged, crippled or infirm soldiers. Bruant and J. H.
Mansard[143] among other architects were employed to raise the vast pile
of buildings which, when completed, are said to have been capable of
housing 7,000 men. A church dedicated to St. Louis was comprehended in
the scheme, and, in 1680, a second Eglise Royale was erected, whose
gilded dome is so conspicuous an object in south Paris; the Eglise
Royale, which Mansard designed, was subsequently added to the church of
St. Louis, and became its choir. Louis XIV., anticipating Napoleon's
maxim that war must support war, raised the funds needed for the
foundation by ingeniously requiring all ordinary and extraordinary
treasurers of war to retain two deniers[144] on every livre that passed
through their hands.

The old city gates of the Tournelle, Poissonnière (or St. Anne), St.
Martin, St. Denis, the Temple, St. Jacques, St. Victor, were demolished,
and triumphal arches, which still remain, erected to mark the sites of
the Portes St. Denis and St. Martin. Another arch, of St. Antoine, was
designed to surpass all existing or ancient monuments of the kind, and
many volumes were written concerning the language in which the
inscription should be composed, but the devouring maw of Versailles had
to be filled, and the arch was never completed. The king for whose glory
the monument was to be raised, cared so little for it, that he suffered
it to be pulled down.

[Illustration: RIVER AND PONT ROYAL.]

Many new streets[145] were made, and others widened, among them the
ill-omened Rue de la Ferronnerie. The northern ramparts were levelled
and planted with trees from the Porte St. Antoine in the east to the
Porte St. Honoré in the west, and in 1704 it was decided to continue the
planting in the south round the Faubourg St. Germain. The Place Louis le
Grand (now Vendôme), and the Place des Victoires were created; the river
embankments were renewed and extended, and a fine stone Pont Royal by J.
H. Mansard, the most beautiful of the existing bridges of Paris, was
built to replace the old wooden structure that led from the St. Germain
quarter to the Tuileries. This in its turn had replaced a ferry (_bac_)
established by the Guild of Ferrymen, to transport the stone needed for
the construction of the Tuileries, and the street which leads to the
bridge still bears the name of the Rue du Bac. The Isle Louviers was
acquired by the Ville, and the evil-smelling tanneries and dye-houses
that disfigured the banks of the Seine between the Grève and the
Châtelet were cleared away; many new fountains embellished the city, and
ten new pumps increased the supply of water. The poorer quarters were,
however, little changed from their old insanitary condition. A few years
later Rousseau, fresh from Turin, was profoundly disappointed by the
streets of Paris as he entered the city by the Faubourg St. Marceau. "I
had imagined," he writes, "a city as fair as it was great, and of a most
imposing aspect, whose superb streets were lined with palaces of marble
and of gold. I saw only filthy, evil-smelling, mean streets, ugly houses
black with dirt, a general air of uncleanness and of poverty, beggars
and carters, old clothes shops and tisane sellers."

It is now time to ask what had been done with the magnificent
inheritance which the fourteenth Louis had entered upon at the opening
of his reign: he left to his successor a France crushed by an appalling
debt of 2,400,000,000 livres; a noblesse and an army in bondage to
money-lenders; public officials and fund-holders unpaid, trade
paralysed, and the peasants in some provinces so poor that even straw
was lacking for them to lie upon, many crossing the frontiers in search
of a less miserable lot. Scarcity of bread made disease rampant at
Paris, and as many as 4,500 sick poor were counted at one time in the
Hôtel Dieu alone. Louis left a court that "sweated hypocrisy through
every pore," and an example of licentious and unclean living and cynical
disregard of every moral obligation, which ate like a cancer into the
vitals of the aristocracy.



Under the regency of the profligate Philip of Orleans, a profounder
depth was sounded. The vices of Louis' court were at least veiled by a
certain regal dignity, and the Grand Monarque was always keenly
sensitive, and at times nobly responsive, to any attack upon the honour
of France; but under the regent, libertinage and indifference to
national honour were flagrant and shameless. The Abbé Dubois, a minister
worthy of his prince, was, says St. Simon, "a mean-looking, thin little
man, with the face of a ferret, in whom every vice fought for mastery."
This creature profaned the seat of Richelieu and Colbert, and rose to
fill a cardinal's chair. The revenues of seven abbeys fed his pride and
luxury, and his annual income was estimated at 1,534,000 livres,
including his bribe from the English Government. His profanity was such
that he was advised to economise time by employing an extra clerk to do
his swearing for him, and during a fatal operation, rendered necessary
by a shameful disease, he went to his account blaspheming and gnashing
his teeth in rage at his physicians.

Visitors to Venice whose curiosity may have led them into the church of
S. Moisè, will remember to have seen there a monument to a famous
Scotchman--John Law. This is the last home of an outlaw, a gambler, and
an adventurer, who, by his amazing skill and effrontery, plunged the
regency into a vortex of speculation, and for a time controlled the
finances of France. He persuaded the regent that by a liberal issue of
paper money he might wipe out the accumulated national deficit of
100,000,000 livres, revive trade and industry, and inaugurate a
financial millennium. In 1718 Law's Bank, after a short and brilliant
career as a private venture, was converted into the Banque Royale, and
by the artful flotation of a gigantic trading speculation called the
Mississippi Company, the bank-notes and company shares were so
manipulated that the latter were inflated to twenty times their nominal
value. The whole city of Paris seethed in a ferment of speculation. The
premises of the Banque Royale in the Rue Quincampoix were daily besieged
by a motley crowd of princes, nobles, fine ladies, courtesans, generals,
prelates, priests, bourgeois and servants. A hunchback made a fortune by
lending his back as a desk; lacqueys became masters in a day, and a
_parvenu_ footman, by force of habit, jumped up behind his own carriage
in a fit of abstraction. The inevitable catastrophe came at the end of
1719. The Prince of Conti was observed taking away three cartloads of
silver in exchange for his paper. A panic ensued, every holder sought to
realise, and the colossal fabric came down with a crash, involving
thousands of families in ruin and despair. Law, after bravely trying to
save the situation and narrowly escaping being torn in pieces, fled to
poverty and death at Venice, and the financial state of France was worse
than before. Law was not, however, absolutely a quack; there was a seed
of good in his famous system of mobilising credit, and the temporary
stimulus it gave to trade permanently influenced mercantile practices in

In 1723, Louis XV. reached his legal majority. The regent became chief
minister, and soon paid the penalty of his career of debauchery, leaving
as his successor the Duke of Bourbon, degenerate scion of the great
Condé and one of the chief speculators in the Mississippi bubble. A
perilous lesson had two years before been instilled into the mind of the
young Louis. After his recovery from an illness, an immense concourse
of people had assembled at a _fête_ given in the gardens of the
Tuileries palace; enormous crowds filled every inch of the Place du
Carrousel and the gardens; the windows and even the roofs of the houses
were alive with people crying "_Vive le roi!_" Marshal Villeroi led the
little lad of eleven to a window, showed him the sea of exultant faces
turned towards him, and exclaimed, "Sire, all this people is yours; all
belongs to you. Show yourself to them, and satisfy them; you are the
master of all."

The Infanta of Spain, at four years of age, had been betrothed to the
young king, and in 1723 was sent to Paris to be educated for her exalted
future. She was lodged in the Petite Galerie of the Louvre, over the
garden still known as the Garden of the Infanta,[146] and after three
years of exile the homesick little maid was returned to Madrid; for
Louis' weak health made it imperative that a speedy marriage should be
contracted if the succession to the throne were to be assured. The
choice finally fell on the daughter of Stanislaus Leczynski, a deposed
king of Poland and a pensioner of France. Voltaire relates that the poor
discrowned queen was sitting with her daughter Marie in their little
room at Wissembourg when the father, bursting in, fell on his knees,
crying, "Let us thank God, my child!" "Are you then recalled to Poland?"
asked Marie. "Nay, daughter, far better," answered Stanislaus, "you are
the queen of France." A magnificent wedding at Fontainebleau, exalted
gentle, pious Marie from poverty to the richest queendom in Europe; to a
life of cruel neglect and almost intolerable insult.

The immoral Duke of Bourbon was followed by Cardinal Fleury, and at
length France experienced a period of honest administration, which
enabled the sorely-tried land to recover some of its wonted elasticity.
The Cardinal was, however, dominated by the Jesuits, and both
Protestants and Jansenists felt their cruel hand. During the persecution
of the Jansenists in 1782 a deacon, named Pâris, died and was canonised
by the popular voice. Miracles were said to have been wrought at his
sepulchre in the cemetery of St. Médard; fanatics flung themselves down
on the tomb and writhed in horrible convulsions. So great was the
excitement and disorder that the Archbishop of Paris denounced the
miracles as the work of Satan, and the Government ordered the cemetery
to be closed. The next morning a profane inscription was found over the
entrance to the cemetery:--

    "_De par le roi défense à Dieu_
     _De faire miracle en ce lieu._"[147]

[Illustration: COLONNE VENDOME.]

Before Louis sank irrevocably into the slothful indulgence that stained
his later years, he was stirred to essay a kingly _rôle_ by Madame de
Chateauroux, the youngest of four sisters who had successively been his
mistresses. She fired his indolent imagination by appeals to the memory
of his glorious ancestors, and the war of the Austrian succession being
in progress, Louis set forth with the army of the great Marshal Saxe for
Metz, where in August 1744 he was stricken down by a violent fever, and
in an access of piety was induced to dismiss his mistress and return to
his abused queen. As he lay on the brink of death, given up by his
physicians and prepared for the end by the administration of the last
sacraments, a royal phrase admirably adapted to capture the imagination
of a gallant people came from his lips. "Remember," he said to Marshal
Noailles, "remember that when Louis XIII. was being carried to the
grave, the Prince of Condé won a battle for France." The agitation of
the Parisians as the king hovered between life and death was
indescribable. The churches were thronged with sobbing people praying
for his recovery; when the courtiers came with news that he was out of
danger they were borne shoulder high in triumph through the streets, and
fervent thanksgiving followed in all the churches. People hailed him as
Louis le Bien-Aimé (the Well-Beloved); even the callous heart of the
king was pierced by their loyalty and he cried, "What have I done to
deserve such love?" So easy was it to win the affection of his
warm-hearted people.

The brilliant victories of Marshal Saxe, and the consequent Peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, brought some years of prosperity to France. Wealth
increased; Paris became more than ever a centre of intellectual
splendour and social refinement, where the arts administered to
luxurious ease. But it was a period of regal licentiousness unparalleled
even in the history of France. Louis XIV. at least exacted good breeding
and wit in his mistresses, but his descendant enslaved himself to the
commonest and most abandoned of women.

For twenty years the destinies of the French people, and the whole
patronage of the Government, the right to succeed to the most sacred and
exalted offices in the Church, were bartered and intrigued for in the
chamber of a harlot and procuress. Under the influence of the Pompadours
and the Du Barrys a crowned _roué_ allowed the state to drift into
financial, military and civil[148] disaster.

"Authentic proofs exist," says Taine, "demonstrating that Madame de
Pompadour cost Louis XV. a sum equal to about seventy-two millions of
present value (£2,880,000)." She would examine the plans of campaign of
her marshals in her boudoir, and mark with patches (_mouches_) the
places to be defended or attacked. Such was the foolish extravagance of
the court that to raise money recourse was had to an attempted taxation
of the clergy, which the prelates successfully resisted; the old
quarrel with the Jansenists was revived, and soon Church and Crown were
convulsed by an agitation that shook society to its very base. During
the popular ferment the king was attacked in 1757 by a crack-brained
fanatic named Damiens, who scratched him with a penknife as he was
entering his coach at Versailles. The poor crazy wretch, who at most
deserved detention in an asylum, was first subjected to a cruel judicial
torture, then taken to the Place de Grève, where he was lacerated with
red-hot pincers and, after boiling lead had been poured into the wounds,
his quivering body was torn to pieces by four horses, and the fragments
burned to ashes.

A few years later the long-suffering Jansenists were avenged with
startling severity. The Jesuits, to their honour be it said, shocked by
the infamies of the royal seraglio in the Parc aux Cerfs, made use of
their ascendency at court to awaken in the king's mind some sense of
decency: they did but add the bitter animosity of Madame de Pompadour to
the existing hostility of the Parlement of Paris. Louis, urged by his
minister the Duke of Choiseul, and by the arts of his mistress,
abandoned the Jesuits to their enemies; the Parlement suppressed the
Society in France, secularised its members and confiscated its property.

The closing years of the Well-Beloved's reign were years of unmitigated
ignominy and disaster to France. Her rich Indian conquests were muddled
away, and the gallant Dupleix died broken-hearted and in misery at
Paris. Canada was lost. During the Seven Years' War the incapacity and
administrative corruption of Madame de Pompadour's favourites made them
the laughing-stock of Paris. In 1770 the Duke of Choiseul refused to
tolerate the vile Du Barry, whom we may see in Madame Campan's Memoirs
sitting on the arm of Louis' chair at a council of state, playing her
monkey tricks to amuse the old sultan, snatching sealed orders from his
hand and making the foolish monarch chase her round the council chamber.
She swore to ruin the duke and, aided by a cabal of Jesuit sympathisers
and noble intriguers, succeeded in compassing his dismissal. The
Parlement of Paris paid for its temerity; it and the whole of the
parlements in France were suppressed, and seven hundred magistrates
exiled by _lettres de cachet_. Every patriotic Frenchman now felt the
gathering storm. Madame Campan writes that twenty years before the crash
came it was common talk in her father's house (he was employed in the
Foreign Office) that the old monarchy was rapidly sinking and a great
change at hand. Indeed, the writing on the wall was not difficult to
read. The learned and virtuous Malesherbes and many another
distinguished member of the suppressed parlements warned the king of the
dangers menacing the crown, but so sunk was its wearer in bestial
stupefaction that he only murmured: "Well, it will last my time," and
with his flatterers and strumpets uttered the famous words--"_Après nous
le déluge_." So lost to all sense of honour was Louis, that he soiled
his hands with bribes from tax-farmers who ground the faces of the poor,
and became a large shareholder in an infamous syndicate of capitalists
that bought up the corn of France in order to export it and then import
it at enormous profit. This abominable _Pacte de Famine_ created two
artificial famines in France; its authors battened on the misery of the
people, and for any who lifted their voices against it the Bastille

In 1768 the poor abused, injured and neglected queen, Marie Leczynski
died. The court went from bad to worse: void of all dignity, all gaiety,
all wit and all elegance, it drifted to its doom. Six years passed, and
Louis was smitten by confluent small-pox and a few poor women were left
to perform the last offices on the mass of pestiferous corruption that
once was the fifteenth Louis of France.[149] None could be found to
embalm the corpse, and spirits of wine were poured into the coffin
which was carried to St. Denis without pomp and amid the half-suppressed
curses of the people. Before the breath had left the body, a noise as of
thunder was heard approaching the chamber of the Dauphin and Marie
Antoinette: it was the sound of the courtiers hastening to grovel before
the new king and queen. Warned that they had now inherited the awful
legacy of the French monarchy, they flung themselves in tears on their
knees, and exclaimed--"O God, guide and protect us! We are too young to


The degradation of the monarchy during the reign is reflected in the
condition of the royal palace in the capital. Henry IV.'s great scheme,
which Louis XIII. had inherited and furthered, included a colossal
equestrian statue, which was to stand on a rocky pedestal in the centre
of a new Place, before the east front of the Louvre, but the regency
revoked the scheme, and for thirty years nothing was done. It had even
been proposed under the ministry of Cardinal Fleury to pull the whole
structure down and sell the site. The neglect of the palace during these
years is almost incredible. Perrault's fine façade was hidden by the
half-demolished walls of the Hôtels de Longueville, de Villequier, and
de Bourbon. The east wing itself was unroofed on the quadrangle side and
covered with rotting boarding. Perrault's columns on the outer façade
were unchannelled, the capitals unfinished, the portal unsculptured, and
the post-office stabled its horses along the whole of the wing from the
middle entrance to the north angle. The royal apartments of Anne of
Austria in the Petite Galerie were used as stables; so, too, were the
halls where now is housed the collection of Renaissance sculpture. The
Infanta's garden was a yard where grooms exercised their horses: a
colony of poor artists and court attendants were lodged in the upper
floors, and over most of the great halls entresols were constructed to
increase this kind of accommodation. The building was described as a
huge caravanserai, where each one lodged and worked as he chose, and
over which might have been placed the legend, "_Ici on loge à pied et à
cheval_." Worse still, an army of squatters, ne'er-do-weels, bankrupts
and defaulting debtors took refuge in the wooden sheds left by the
contractors, or built others--a miserable gangrene of hovels--against
the east façade. Perrault's base had been concealed by rubbish and
apparently forgotten. Stove-pipes issued from the broken windows of the
upper floors, the beautiful stone-work was blackened by smoke, cracked
by frost and soiled by rusting iron clamps; the quadrangle was a chaos
of uncut stone, rubbish and filth, in the centre of which, where the
king's statue was designed to stand, the royal architect had built
himself a large house; a mass of mean houses encumbered the Carrousel,
and the almost ruined church of St. Nicholas was a haunt of beggars.
Such a grievous eyesore was the building that the provost in 1751
offered, in the name of the citizens, to repair and complete the palace
if a part were assigned to them as an Hôtel de Ville. In 1754 Madame de
Pompadour's brother had been appointed Commissioner of Works, and Louis
was persuaded to authorise the repair and completion of the Louvre.
Gabriel being made architect set about his work by clearing out the
squatters and the accumulated rubbish in the quadrangle, and evicting
the occupants of the stables. The ruins of the Hôtels de Longueville, de
Villequier, and de Bourbon were demolished, grass plots laid before
Perrault's east front, which was restored and for the first time made
visible. The west front, giving on the quadrangle, was then repaired and
the third order nearly completed, when funds were exhausted and it was
left unroofed. An epigram, put into the mouth of the king of Denmark,
who visited Paris in 1768, tersely describes the condition of the palace
at this time:--

    "J'ai vu le Louvre et son enceinte immense,
     Vaste palais qui depuis deux cent ans,
     Toujours s'achève et toujours se commence.
     Deux ouvriers, manoeuvres fainéants,
     Hâtent très lentement ces riches bâtiments
     Et sont payés quand on y pense.[150]"


During Louis XVI.'s reign little or nothing was done. Soufflot was
making feeble efforts to complete Perrault's north front when the
Revolution came to arrest his work. So lost to reverence and devoid of
artistic sentiment were the official architects of this period, that a
sacrilege worse than any wrought by revolutionists was perpetrated at
the instance of the canons of Notre Dame. Louis XIV. had begun the
vandalism by demolishing the beautiful old Gothic high altar and
replacing it by a huge, ponderous anachronism in marble, on whose
foundation stone, laid in 1699, was placed an inscription to the effect
that Louis the Great, son of Louis the Just, having subdued heresy,
established the true religion in his realm and ended wars gloriously by
land and sea, built the altar to fulfil the vow of his father, and
dedicated it to the God of Arms and Master of Peace and Victory under
the invocation of the Holy Virgin, patroness and protector of his
States. Many of the fine old Gothic tombs of marble and bronze in the
church, the monuments of six centuries, were destroyed. But to the reign
of Louis the Well-Beloved was reserved the crowning infamy: in 1741 the
glorious old stained-glass windows, rivalling those of Chartres in
richness, were destroyed by Levreil and replaced by grisaille with
yellow _fleur-de-lys_ ornamentation. Happily the replacing of the rose
windows was deemed too expensive, and they escaped destruction. The
famous colossal statue of St. Christopher, the equestrian monument of
Philip le Bel, and a popular statue of the Virgin, were broken down by
these clerical iconoclasts. In 1771 the canons instructed Soufflot to
throw down the pillar of the central porch, with its beautiful statue of
Christ, to make room for their processions to enter. The priceless
sculpture of the tympanum was cut through to make a loftier and wider
entrance, and the whole symmetry of the west front was grievously
destroyed.[151] This hideous architectural deformity remained until a
son of the Revolution, Viollet-le-Duc, restored the portal to its
original form. After the havoc wrought at Notre Dame, Soufflot's
energies were diverted to the holy mount of St. Genevieve. Louis XV. had
attributed his recovery at Metz to the intercession of the saint, and in
1754, when the abbot complained to the king of the almost ruined
condition of the abbey church, he found a sympathetic listener. Soufflot
and the chapter, who shared the prevalent contempt of Gothic, decided to
abandon the venerable old pile, with its millennial associations of the
patron saint of Paris, and to build a grand domed classic temple on the
abbey lands to the west. Funds for the sacred work were raised by
levying a tax on public lotteries. The old church, with the exception of
the tower, was finally demolished in 1802, when the rude stone coffin
which had held the body of St. Genevieve until it was burnt by
revolutionary fanatics, was transferred to St. Etienne du Mont.



On 6th September 1764, the crypt of the new St. Genevieve being
completed, the Well-Beloved laid the first stone of the church. Scarcely
was the scaffolding removed after thirteen years of constructive labour,
and the expenditure of sixteen millions of livres, when it became
necessary to call in Soufflot's pupil Rondelet, to shore up the walls
and strengthen the columns which had proved too weak to sustain the
weight of the huge cupola. Before the temple was consecrated the
Revolutionists came, and noting its monumental aspect used it with
admirable fitness as a Panthéon Français for the remains of their
heroes; the dome designed to cover the relics of St. Genevieve soared
over the ashes of Voltaire, Mirabeau, Rousseau and Marat. Thrice has
this unlucky fane been the prize of Christian and Revolutionary
reactionaries. In 1806 Napoleon I. restored it to Christian worship, and
in 1822 the famous inscription--"_Aux grands Hommes la Patrie
reconnaissante_" ("A grateful country to her great men")--was removed by
Louis XVIII., and replaced by a dedication to God and St. Genevieve; in
1830 Louis Philippe, the citizen king, transferred it to secular and
monumental uses, and restored the former inscription; in 1851 the
perjured Prince-President Napoleon, while the streets of Paris were yet
red with the blood of his victims, again surrendered it to the Catholic
Church; in 1885 it was reconverted to a national Walhalla for the
reception of Victor Hugo's remains.

The Pantheon has the most magnificent situation and, except the new
church of the Sacré Coeur, is the most dominant building in Paris. Its
dome, seen from nearly every eminence commanding the city, has a certain
stately, almost noble, aspect; but the spacious interior, despite the
efforts of the artists of the third Republic, is chilling to the
spectator. It has few historical or religious associations, and it is
devoid of human sentiment. The choice of painters to decorate the
interior was an amazing act of official insensibility. The most
discordant artistic temperaments were let loose on the devoted building.
Puvis de Chavannes, the only painter among them who grasped the
limitation of mural art, has painted with restraint and noble simplicity
incidents in the life of St. Genevieve, and Jean Paul Laurens is
responsible for a splendid but incongruous representation of her death.
A St. Denis, scenes in the lives of Clovis, Charlemagne, St. Louis, and
Jeanne d'Arc, by Bonnat, Blanc, Levy, Cabanel and Lenepveu, are all
excellent work of the kind so familiar to visitors at the Salon, but are
lacking in harmony and in inspiration. The angel appearing to Jeanne
d'Arc seems to have been modelled from a _figurante_ at the opera.

[Illustration: ST. SULPICE]

In 1618 the Grande Salle of the Palais de Justice, the finest of its
kind in Europe, decorated by Fra Giocondo, was gutted by fire, and its
rich stained glass, its double vaultings resplendent with blue and gold,
its long line of the statues of the kings of France from Pharamond to
Henry IV., were utterly destroyed. Debrosse, who built the new Salle in
1622, left a noble and harmonious Renaissance chamber, which, again
restored after the fire of 1776, endured until its destruction by fire
during the Commune. The old palace was clung to by a population of
hucksters, whose shops and booths huddled round the building. The Grande
Salle, far different from the present bare Salle des Pas Perdus, was
itself a busy mart, booksellers especially predominating, most of
whom had stations there, much as we see them to-day, round the Odéon
theatre. Every pillar had its bookseller's shop. Verard's address
was--"At the image of St. John the Evangelist, before Notre Dame de
Paris, and at the first pillar in the Grande Salle of the Palais de
Justice, before the Chapelle where they sing the mass for Messieurs of
the Parlement." Gilles Couteau's address was--"The Two Archers in the
Rue de la Juiverie and at the third pillar at the Palais." In the
Galerie Mercière (now the Galerie Marchande) at the top of the stairway
ascending from the Cour du Mai, lines of shops displayed fans, gloves,
slippers and other dainty articles of feminine artillery. The further
Galeries were also invaded by the traders, who were not finally evicted
until 1842. Much rebuilding and restoration were again needed after the
great fire of 1776, and the old flight of steps of the Cour du Mai, at
the foot of which criminals were branded and books condemned by the
Parlement were burnt, was replaced by the present fine stairway.

The Grande Chambre (now the Tribunal de Première Instance) entered from
the Grande Salle, was renamed the Salle d'Egalité by the Revolutionists,
and used for the sittings of the Revolutionary Tribunal. As the dread
work increased, a second court was opened in the Salle St. Louis,
renamed the Salle de Liberté! Here Danton was tried, whose puissant
voice penetrated to the opposite side of the Seine.

It was through Debrosse's restored Grande Salle that the Girondins
trooped after condemnation to the new prisoners' chapel, built after the
fire, and passed the night there, hymning the Revolution and discoursing
of the Fatherland before they issued by the nine steps, unchanged
to-day, on the right in the Cour du Mai, to the fatal tumbrils awaiting

The pseudo-classic church of St. Sulpice, begun in 1665 and not
completed until 1777, is a monument of the degraded taste of this
unhappy time. At least three architects, Gamart, Levau and the Italian
Servandoni, are responsible for this monstrous pile, whose towers have
been aptly compared by Victor Hugo to two big clarionets. The building
has, however, a certain _puissante laideur_, as Michelet said of Danton,
and is imposing from its very mass, but it is dull and heavy and devoid
of all charm and imagination. Nothing exemplifies more strikingly the
mutation of taste that has taken place since the eighteenth century than
the fact that this church is the only one mentioned by Gibbon in the
portion of his autobiography which refers to his first visit to Paris,
where it is distinguished as "one of the noblest structures in Paris."



Crowned vice was now succeeded by crowned folly. The grandson of Louis
XV., a well-meaning but weak and foolish youth, and his thoughtless,
pleasure-loving queen, were confronted by state problems that would have
taxed the genius of a Richelieu in the maturity of his powers.
Injustice, misery, oppression, discontent, were clamant and almost
universal; taxes had doubled since the death of Louis XIV.; there were
30,000 beggars in Paris alone. The penal code was of inhuman ferocity;
law was complicated, ruinous and partial and national credit so low that
loans could be obtained only against material pledges and at interest
five times as great as that paid by England. Wealthy bishops and
abbots[152] and clergy, noblesse and royal officials were wholly exempt
from the main incidents of taxation; for personal and land taxes, tithes
and forced labour, were exacted from the common people alone. No liberty
of worship, nor of thought: Protestants were condemned to the galleys by
hundreds; booksellers met the same fate. Authors and books were
arbitrarily sent by _lettres de cachet_ to the Bastille. Yet in spite of
all repression a generation of daring, witty, emancipated thinkers in
Paris were elaborating a weapon of scientific, rationalistic and liberal
doctrine that cut at the very roots of the old _régime_. And while
France was in travail of the palingenesis of the modern world, the
futile king was trifling with his locks and keys and colouring maps, the
queen playing at shepherdesses at Trianon or performing before
courtiers, officers and equerries the _rôles_ of Rosina in the _Barbier
de Seville_ and of Colette in the _Devin du Village_, the latter
composed by the democratic philosopher, whose _Contrat Social_ was to
prove the Gospel of the Revolution.[153] Jean Jacques Rousseau, the
solitary self-centred Swiss engraver and musician, has described for us
in words that will bear translation how an ineffaceable impression of
the sufferings of the people was burnt into his memory, and the germs of
an unquenchable hatred of their oppressors were sown in his breast.
Journeying on foot between Paris and Lyons he was one day diverted from
his path by the beauty of the landscape, and wandered about, seeking in
vain to discover his way. "At length," he writes, "weary and dying of
thirst and hunger I entered a peasant's house, not a very attractive
one, but the only one I could see. I imagined that here as in
Switzerland every inhabitant of easy means would be able to offer
hospitality. I entered and begged that I might have dinner by paying for
it. The peasant handed me some skim milk and coarse barley bread, saying
that was all he had. The milk seemed delicious and I ate the bread,
straw and all, but it was not very satisfying to one exhausted by
fatigue. The man scrutinised me and judged by my appetite the truth of
the story I had told. Suddenly, after saying that he perceived I was a
good, honest youth and not there to spy upon him he opened a trap door,
descended and returned speedily with some good wheaten bread, a ham
appetising but rather high, and a bottle of wine which rejoiced my heart
more than all the rest. He added a good thick omelette and I enjoyed a
dinner such as those alone who travel on foot can know. When it came to
paying, his anxiety and fears again seized him; he would have none of my
money and pushed it aside, exceedingly troubled, nor could I imagine
what he was afraid of. At last he uttered with a shudder the terrible
words '_commis, rats de cave_' ("assessors, cellar rats"). He made me
understand that he hid the wine because of the _aides_,[154] and the
bread because of the _tailles_[155] and that he would be a ruined man if
it were supposed that he was not dying of hunger. That man, although
fairly well-off, dared not eat the bread earned by the sweat of his
brow, and could only escape ruin by pretending to be as miserable as
those he saw around him. I issued forth from that house indignant as
well as affected, deploring the lot of that fair land where nature had
lavished all her gifts only to become the spoil of barbarous tax-farmers
(_publicans_)." The elder Mirabeau has told how he saw a bailiff cut off
the hand of a peasant woman who had clung to her kitchen utensils when
distraint was made on her poor possessions for dues exacted by the
tax-farmer. It is related in Madame Campan's _Memoirs_ that Louis XV.,
hunting one day in the forest of Senard, about fifteen miles south of
Paris, met a man on horseback carrying a coffin. "Whither are you
carrying that coffin?" asked the king. "To the village of ----." "Is it
for a man or a woman?" "For a man." "What did he die of?" "Hunger,"
bluntly returned the villager. The king spurred his horse and said no

    "But though the gods see clearly, they are slow
     In marking when a man, despising them,
     Turns from their worship to the scorn of fools."

Half a century had elapsed since that meal in the peasant's house and
the royal colloquy with the villager in the forest of Senard, when the
Nemesis that holds sleepless vigil over the affairs of men stirred her
pinions and, like a strong angel with glittering sword, prepared to
avenge the wrongs of a people whose rulers had outraged every law, human
and divine, by which human society is held together. King, nobles, and
prelates had a supreme and an awful choice. They might have led and
controlled the Revolution: they chose to oppose it, and were broken into
shivers as a potter's vessel.

After the memorable cannonade at Valmy, a knot of defeated German
officers gathered in rain and wind moodily around the circle where they
durst not kindle the usual camp-fire. In the morning the army had talked
of nothing but spitting and devouring the whole French nation: in the
evening everyone went about alone; nobody looked at his neighbour, or if
he did, it was but to curse and swear. "At last," says Goethe, "I was
called upon to speak, for I had been wont to enliven and amuse the troop
with short sayings. This time I said, 'From this day forth, and from
this place, a new era begins in the history of the world and you can all
say that you were present at its birth.'" This is not the place to write
the story of the French Revolution. Those who would read the tremendous
drama may be referred to the pages of Carlyle. As a formal history, that
work of transcendent genius may be open to criticism. Indeed to the
present writer the magnificent and solemn prosody seems to partake of
the nature of a Greek chorus--the comment of an idealised spectator,
assuming that the hearer has the drama unfolding before his eyes. Recent
researches have supplemented and modified our knowledge. It is no longer
possible to accept the more revolting representations of the misery[156]
of the French peasantry as true of the whole of France, for France
before the Revolution was an assemblage of many provinces of varying
social conditions, subjected to varying administrative laws. Nor can we
accept Carlyle's portraiture of Robespierre as history, after Louis
Blanc's great work. So far from Robespierre having been the bloodthirsty
protagonist of the later Terror, it was precisely his determination to
make an end of the more savage excesses of the extreme Terrorists and
to chastise their more furious pro-consuls, such as Carrier and Fouché,
that brought about his ruin. It was men like Collot d'Herbois, Billaud
Varenne and Barrère, the bloodiest of the Terrorists, who, to save their
own skins, united to cast the odium of the later excesses on
Robespierre, and to overthrow him. During the forty-five days that
preceded his withdrawal from the sittings of the Committee of Public
Safety, 577 persons were guillotined: during the forty-five days that
succeeded, 1285 went to their doom. Of the twelve decrees that have been
discovered signed by Robespierre during the four last decades, only one
had any relation to the system of terror. But whatever defects there be
in Carlyle, his readers will at least understand the significance of the
Revolution, and why it is that the terrible, but temporary excesses
which stained its progress have been so unduly magnified by reactionary
politicians, while the cruelties of the White Terror[157] are passed by.

Few of the buildings associated with the Revolution remain at Paris. The
Salle du Manège, the Feuillants and Jacobin clubs were swept away by
Napoleon's Rue de Rivoli. But at Versailles little is changed; the broad
Avenue de Paris, once filled with double uninterrupted files of
brilliant equipages, racing with furious speed from morning to evening
along the five leagues between Versailles and Paris, is now silent and
deserted. Here, outside the gates of the château were seen in 1775 that
vast "multitude in wide-spread wretchedness, with their sallow faces,
squalor and winged raggedness, presenting in legible, hieroglyphic
writing their petition of grievances, and for answer two were hanged on
a new gallows forty feet high." Here the traveller may see at the corner
of the Rue St. Martin in the Avenue de Paris, that Hôtel des Menus
Plaisirs, where the States-General sat, 5th May 1789, and where the
Commons took the bit in their mouths by declaring themselves the
National Assembly, whether the two privileged orders sat with them or
not, and decided to set about the task of regenerating France. Here
under the elm trees on the Paris road stood the Deputies in the
drizzling rain when they found the doors of the hall closed, by royal
order, against them, while giggling courtiers looked mockingly on. We
may trace their footsteps as they angrily paced to the Rue St. François;
we may stand in the very tennis-court whose walls echoed to the solemn
oath sworn by their 700 voices never to separate until they had given a
constitution to France. Hard by, in the Rue Satory, is the church of St.
Louis, where they met the next day on finding the court retained for a
tennis-party by the king's brother, the Count of Artois. We may return
to the Menus Plaisirs, where the king's messenger, de Brézé, ordering
them to disperse after the famous royal sitting, heard Mirabeau's
leonine voice bidding him go back to his master and tell him that they
were there by the people's will, and that nothing but the force of
bayonets should drive them forth.[158] We may enter the royal
apartments, the famous ante-room of the OEil de Boeuf with its oval
ox-eyed windows, the king's bed-chamber, and the council hall; we may
look on the foolish faces of the later Bourbons, of the princesses his
daughters whom Louis XV. dubbed Rag, Tatter, Snip, and Pig. In the
opera-house built for Mesdames Pompadour and Du Barry, we may recall
that mad scene of 1st October, when the officers of the bodyguard,
having invited their comrades of the Regiment of Flanders to a dinner on
the stage, were shaking the roof with cries of "_Vive le roi!_" while
the orchestra played the air, "_O Richard! O mon roi! l'univers
t'abandonne_," the king suddenly appeared in the royal box facing them,
leading the queen, who bore the Dauphin in her arms. Then was the air
repeated, and amid a scene of wild enthusiasm the royal family were
rapturously acclaimed with clapping of hands and deafening shouts of
"_Vive le roi! Vive la reine! Vive le dauphin!_" Ladies distributed
white cockades, the Bourbon colour, and the tricolor was trodden
underfoot. Intoxicated soldiers danced under the king's balcony, and
next morning it was discussed at a breakfast given at the hôtel of the
bodyguards whether they should march against the National Assembly. And
this within three months of the taking of the Bastille and when Paris
was in the grip of famine!

The news of the mad orgy goaded the people to fury, and on 5th October
an insurrectionary army of 10,000 women advanced on Versailles and
encamped on the vast open space in front of the gates. As we stand in
the Cour de Marbre, we may lift our eyes to that balcony of the first
floor where, on 6th October, Marie Antoinette stood bravely forth,
holding her two children by the hand and confronting the vociferating
people. At their cry, "No children!" she gently pushed the little
Dauphin and his sister back into the room, and with folded arms, for she
at least lacked not courage, gazed calmly at them in regal dignity, to
be answered by shouts of "_Vive la reine!_" It was the last time she
trod the palace of Versailles. The same day king, queen and children
went their way amid that strange procession to Paris, the women crying:
"We need not die of hunger now. Here are the baker, the baker's wife and
the baker's boy." The palace of the Tuileries was hastily prepared for
their reception and for the first time Louis XVI. entered its gates.

Camille Desmoulins has described in his Memoirs how on 11th July he was
lifted on a table in front of the Café Foy, in the garden of the Palais
Royal, and delivered that short but pregnant oration which preceded the
capture of the Bastille on the 14th, warning the people that a St.
Bartholomew of patriots was contemplated, and that the Swiss and German
troops in the Champ de Mars were ready for the butchery. As the crowd
rushed to the Hôtel de Ville, shouting "To arms!" they were charged by
the Prince de Lambesc at the head of a German regiment, and the first
blood of the Revolution in Paris was shed.

The Bastille, like the monarchy, was the victim of its past sins. That
grisly fortress, with the jaws of its cannon opening on the most
populous quarter of Paris, and its sinister memories of the Man in the
Iron Mask,[159] embodied in the popular mind all that was hateful in the
old _régime_, though it had long ceased to be more than occasionally
used as a state prison. If we would restore its aspect we must imagine
the houses at the ends of the Rue St. Antoine and the Boulevard Henri
IV. away and the huge mass erect on their site and on the lines marked
in white stone on the present Place de la Bastille. A great portal,
always open by day, yawned on the Rue St. Antoine and gave access to the
first quadrangle which was lined with shops: then came a second gate,
with entrances for carriages and for foot passengers, each with its
drawbridge. Beyond these a second quadrangle was entered, to the right
of which stood the Governor's house and an armoury. Another double
portal gave entrance across the old fosse once fed by the waters of the
Seine, to the prison fortress itself, with its eight tall blackened
towers and its crenelated ramparts.


The Bastille, first used in Richelieu's time as a permanent state
prison, was filled under Louis XIV. with Jansenists and Protestants, who
were thus separated from the prisoners of the common jails; and, later,
under Louis XV. by a whole population of obnoxious pamphleteers and
champions of philosophy. Books as well as their authors were
incarcerated, and released when considered no longer dangerous; the
tomes of famous _Encyclopédie_ spent some years there. From the opening
of the eighteenth century the horrible, dark and damp dungeons, half
underground and sometimes flooded, formerly inhabited by the lowest type
of criminals, were reserved as temporary cells for insubordinate
prisoners, and since the accession of Louis XVI. they were no more used.
The Bastille during the reigns of the three later Louis was the most
comfortable prison in Paris, and detention there rather than in the
other prisons was often sought for and granted as a favour; the
prisoners might furnish their rooms, have their own libraries and food.
In the middle of the seventeenth century certain rooms were furnished at
the king's expense for those who were without means. The rooms were
warmed, the prisoners well fed, and sums varying from three francs to
thirty-five francs per day, according to condition,[160] were allotted
for their maintenance. A considerable amount of personal liberty was
allowed to many and indemnities were in later years paid to those who
had been unjustly detained. But a prison where men are confined
indefinitely without trial and at a king's arbitrary pleasure is none
the less intolerable, however its bars be gilded. Prisoners were
sometimes forgotten, and letters are extant from Louvois and other
ministers, asking the governor to report how many years certain
prisoners had been detained, and if he remembered what they were charged
with. In Louis XIV.'s reign 2228 persons were incarcerated there; in
Louis XV.'s, 2567. From the accession of Louis XVI. to the destruction
of the prison the number had fallen to 289. Seven were found there when
the fortress was captured--four accused of forgery, two insane; one, the
Count of Solages, accused of a monstrous crime, was detained there to
spare the feelings of his family. The Bastille, some time before its
fall, was already under sentence of demolition, and various schemes for
its disposal were before the court. One project was to destroy seven of
the towers, leaving the eighth standing in a dilapidated state. On the
site of the seven a pedestal formed of chains and bolts from the
dungeons and gates was to bear a statue of Louis XVI. in the attitude of
a liberator, pointing with outstretched hand towards the remaining tower
in ruins. But Louis XVI. was always too late, and the Place de la
Bastille, with its column raised to those who fell in the Revolution of
July, 1830, now recalls the second and final triumph of the people over
the Bourbon kings. Some stones of the Bastille were, however, built into
the new Pont Louis Seize, subsequently called Pont de la Revolution and
now known as Pont de la Concorde: others were sold to speculators and
were retailed at prices so high that people complained that Bastille
stones were as dear as the best butcher's meat. Models of the Bastille,
dominoes, inkstands, boxes and toys of all kinds were made of the
material and had a ready sale all over France.

Far to the west and on the opposite side of the Seine is the immense
area of the Champ de Mars, where, on the anniversary of the fall of the
Bastille, was enacted the fairest scene of the Revolution. The whole
population of Paris, with their marvellous instinct of order and
co-operation, spontaneously set to work to dig the vast amphitheatre
which was to accommodate the 100,000 representatives of France, and
400,000 spectators, all united in an outburst of fraternal love and hope
to swear allegiance to the new Constitution before the altar of the
Fatherland. The king had not yet lost the affection of his people. As he
came to view the marvellous scene an improvised bodyguard of excavators,
bearing spades, escorted him about. When he was swearing the oath to the
Constitution, the queen, standing on a balcony of the _Ecole militaire_,
lifted up the dauphin as if to associate him in his father's pledge.
Suddenly the rain which had marred the great festival ceased, the sun
burst forth and flooded in a splendour of light, the altar, Bishop
Talleyrand, his four hundred clergy, and the king with upraised hand.
The solemn music of the _Te Deum_ mingled with the wild pæan of joy and
enthusiasm that burst from half a million throats.

The unconscionable folly, the feeble-minded vacillation and miserable
trickery by which this magnificent popularity was muddled away is one of
the saddest tragedies in the stories of kings. The people, with unerring
instinct, had fixed on the queen as one of the chief obstacles to what
might have been a peaceful revolution. Neither Marie Antoinette nor
Louis Capet comprehended the tremendous significance of the forces they
were playing with--the resolute and invincible determination of a people
of twenty-six millions to emancipate itself from the accumulated and
intolerable wrongs of centuries. The despatches and opinions of American
ambassadors during this period are of inestimable value. The democratic
Thomas Jefferson, reviewing in later years the course of events,
declared that had there been no queen there would have been no
revolution. Governor Morris, whose anti-revolutionary and conservative
leanings made him the friend and confidant of the royal family, writes
to Washington on January 1790: "If only the reigning prince were not the
small beer character he is, and even only tolerably watchful of events,
he would regain his authority," but "what would you have," he continues
scornfully, "from a creature who, in his situation, eats, drinks and
sleeps well, and laughs, and is as merry a grig as lives. He must float
along on the current of events and is absolutely a cypher." But the
court would not forego its crooked ways. "The queen is even more
imprudent," Morris writes in 1791, "and the whole court is given up to
petty intrigues worthy only of footmen and chambermaids." Moreover, in
its amazing ineptitude, the monarchy had already toyed with
republicanism by lending active military support to the revolutionists
in America, at a cost to the already over-burdened treasury of
1,200,000,000 livres.

The American ambassador, Benjamin Franklin, was crowned at court with
laurel as the apostle of liberty, and in the very palace of Versailles
medallions of Franklin were sold, bearing the inscription: "_Eripui
coelo fulmen sceptrumque tyrannis_" ("I have snatched the lightning from
heaven and the sceptre from tyrants"). The revolutionary song, _Ça ira,
ça ira_ ("That will go, that will go"), owes its origin to Franklin's
invariable response to inquiries as to the progress of the American
revolutionary movement. There was explosive material enough in France to
make playing with celestial fire perilous, and while the political
atmosphere was heavy with the threatening change, thousands of French
soldiers returned saturated with enthusiasm and sympathy for the
American revolution. Already before the Feast of the Federation the
queen had been in secret correspondence with the _émigrés_ at Turin and
at Coblenz who were conspiring to throttle the nascent liberty of
France. Plots had been hatched to carry off the royal family. Madame
Campan relates that the queen made her read a confidential letter from
the Empress Catherine of Russia, concluding with these words: "Kings
ought to proceed in their career undisturbed by the cries of the people,
as the moon pursues her course unimpeded by the howling of dogs."
Mirabeau was already in the pay of the monarchy; soon after the return
of the court to St. Cloud the queen had a secret interview with him in
the park, and boasted to Madame Campan how she had flattered the great

As early as December 1790 the court had been in secret communication
with the foreigner. Louis' brother, the Count of Artois (afterwards
Charles X.), with the queen's and king's approval, had made a secret
treaty with the house of Hapsburg, the hereditary enemy of France, by
which the sovereigns of Austria, Prussia and Spain agreed to cross the
frontier at a given signal, and close on France with an army a hundred
thousand strong. It was an act of impious treachery, and the beginning
of the doom of the French monarchy. Yet if but some glimmer of
intelligence and courage had characterised the preparations for the
flight of the royal family to join the armed forces waiting to receive
them near the frontier, their lives at least had been saved.

The incidents of the four months' "secret" preparations to leave the
Tuileries as described by Madame Campan read like scenes in a comic
opera. The disguised purchases of elaborate wardrobes of underlinen and
gowns; the making of a dressing-case of "enormous size, fitted with many
and various articles from a warming-pan to a silver porringer"; the
packing of the diamonds; the building of the new _berline_, that huge,
lumbering Noah's ark which was to bear them swiftly away! The story of
the pretended flight of the Russian baroness and her family; the start
delayed by the queen turning into the Carrousel instead of into the Rue
de l'Echelle, where the king and her children were awaiting her in the
glass coach; the colossal folly of the whole business has been told by
Carlyle in one of the most dramatic chapters in history.

The Assembly declared on hearing of Louis' flight that the government of
the country was unaffected and that the executive power remained in the
hand of the ministers. After voting a levy of three hundred thousand
National Guards to meet the threatened invasion, they passed calmly to
the discussion of the new Penal Code.

The king returned to Paris through an immense and silent multitude.
"Whoever applauds the king," said placards in the street, "shall be
thrashed; whoever insults him, hung." The idea of a republic as a
practical issue of the situation was now for the first time put forward
by the extremists, but met with little sympathy, and a Republican
demonstration in the Champ de Mars was suppressed by the Assembly by
martial law at the cost of many lives. Owing to the aversion felt by
Marie Antoinette to Lafayette, who with affectionate loyalty more than
once had risked his popularity and life to serve the crown, the court
made the fatal mistake of opposing his election to the mayoralty of
Paris and paved the way for the triumph of Petion and of the Dantonists.
To the famous manifesto of Pilnitz by the Emperor of Austria and the
King of Prussia in August 1791, calling on the sovereigns of Europe to
support them in an armed intervention to restore the rights and
prerogatives of the French king, the Assembly replied that, while they
must regard as enemies those who tolerated hostile preparations against
France, they offered good neighbourship, the amity of a free and
puissant country to the nations of Europe. They desired no conquests and
would respect the laws and constitutions of others if they evinced the
same respect towards those of France: if the German princes favoured
military preparations directed against the French, the French would
carry among them, not fire and sword, but liberty. "_Let them ponder on
the consequences of an awakening of the nations._"

Meanwhile the Assembly renewed some laws of the _ancien régime_ against
_émigrés_, who were threatened with the confiscation of their property
without prejudice to the rights of their wives and children and lawful
creditors if they did not return within a definite time. The foreign
monarchies reasserted the lawfulness of their acts and war became

[Illustration: PLACE DE LA CONCORDE]

At the news of the first defeats the king added to his amazing tale of
follies by vetoing the formation of a camp near Paris and by turning a
deaf ear to the earnest entreaties of the brave, loyal and sagacious
Dumouriez and accepting his resignation. He sent a secret agent with
confidential instructions to the _émigrés_ and the coalesced monarchies,
and when Lafayette, after the first demonstration against the Tuileries,
hastened to Paris and strove to stir the ill-fated king to resolute
action he was coldly received, and with bitterness in his heart returned
to his army at the frontier. The ill-starred proclamation[161] of the
Duke of Brunswick completed the destruction of the monarchy. While the
French were smarting under defeat and stung by the knowledge that their
natural defender, the king, was leagued with their enemies, this foreign
commander warned a high-spirited and gallant nation that he was come to
restore Louis XVI. to his authority, and threatened to treat as
rebellious any town that opposed his march, to shoot all persons taken
with arms in their hands, and in the event of any insult being offered
to the royal family to take exemplary and memorable vengeance by
delivering up the city of Paris to military execution and complete
demolition. When the proclamation reached Paris at the end of July 1792,
it sounded the death knell of the king and the triumph of the
Republicans. Paris was now to become, in Goethe's phrase, the centre of
the "world whirlwind"--a storm centre launching forth thunderbolts of
terror. After the Assembly had twice refused to bring the king to trial,
the extremists were able to organise and direct an irresistible wave of
popular indignation towards the Tuileries, and on 10th August the palace
was stormed. While a band of brave and devoted Swiss guards was being
cut to pieces in hundreds, the feeble and futile king had fled to the
Assembly and was sitting safely with his wife and children in a box
behind the president's chair. Thorwaldsen's monument to the fallen
Swiss, carved in the granite rock at Lucerne, recalls that piteous scene
at the Tuileries when these poor Republican mercenaries, true to their
salt, stood faithful unto death in defence of an empty palace.

No room for compromise now. The printed trial of Charles I. was
everywhere sold and read. "This," people said, "was how the English
dealt with an impossible king and became a free nation." Old and new
were in death-grapple, and the lives of many victims, for the people
lost heavily,[162] had sealed the cause of the Revolution with a bloody
consecration. Unhappily, the city of Paris, like all great towns in
times of scarcity (and since 1780 scarcity had become almost permanent),
had been invaded by numbers of starving vagabonds--the dregs that always
rise to the surface in periods of political convulsion, ready for any
villainy. When news came of the capture of Verdun, of the indecent joy
of the courtiers, and that the road to Paris was open to the avenging
army of Prussians, the horrors of the Armagnac massacres were renewed
during four September days at the prisons of Paris, while the
revolutionary ministry and the Assembly averted their gaze and, to their
everlasting shame, abdicated their powers. The September massacres were
the application by a minority of desperate and savage revolutionists of
the _ultima ratio_ of kings to a desperate situation. The tragedy of
King Louis is the tragedy of a feeble prince called to rule in a
tremendous crisis where weakness and well-meaning folly are the fatalest
of crimes. How pathetic are the incidents of the penalty of wrong! The
dreadful heritage of the sins of the later French monarchy had fallen on
the head of one of the best-intentioned and least guilty, though most
foolish and feeblest of men.

On 21st September 1792 royalty was formally abolished, and on the 22nd,
when "the equinoctional sun marked the equality of day and night in the
heavens," civil equality was proclaimed by the representatives of



An inscription opposite No. 230 Rue de Rivoli indicates the site of the
old Salle du Manége, or Riding School, of the Tuileries, where the
destinies of modern France were debated. Three Assemblies--the
Constituent, the Legislative and the prodigious National
Convention--filled its long, poorly-furnished amphitheatre, decorated
with the tattered flags captured from the Prussians and Austrians, from
7th November 1789 to 9th May 1795.

There, on Wednesday, 16th January 1793, began the solemn judgment of
Louis XVI. by 721 representatives of the people of France. The sitting
opened at ten o'clock in the morning, but not till eight in the evening
did the procession of deputies begin, as the roll was called, to ascend
the tribune, and utter their word of doom. All that long winter's night,
and all the ensuing short winter's day, the fate of a king trembled in
the balance as the judgment, death--banishment: banishment--death, with
awful alternation echoed through the hall. Amid the speeches of the
deputies was heard the chatter of fashionable women in the boxes,
pricking with pins on cards the votes for and against death, and eating
ices and oranges brought to them by friendly deputies. Above, in the
public tribunes, sat women of the people, greeting the words of the
deputies with coarse gibes. Betting went on outside. At every entrance
cries hoarse and shrill were heard of hawkers selling "The Trial of
Charles I." Time-serving Philip Egalité, Duke of Orleans, voted _la
mort_, but failed to save his skin. An Englishman was there--Thomas
Paine, author of the _Rights of Man_ and deputy for Calais. His voice
was raised for clemency, for temporary detention, and banishment after
the peace. "My vote is that of Paine," cried a member, "his authority is
final for me." One deputy was carried from a sick-bed to cast his vote
in the scale of mercy; others slumbering on the benches were awakened
and gave their votes of death between two yawns. At length, by eight
o'clock on the evening of the 17th, exactly twenty-four hours after the
voting began, the President rose to read the result. "A silence most
august and terrible reigns in the Assembly as President Vergniaud rises
and pronounces the sentence 'Death' in the name of the French nation."
The details of the voting as given in the _Journal de Perlet_, 18th
January 1793, are as follows: "Of the 745 members one had died, six were
sick, two absent without cause, eleven absent on commission, four
abstained from voting. The absolute majority was therefore 361. Three
hundred and sixty-six voted for death, three hundred and nineteen for
detention and banishment, two for the galleys, twenty-four for death
with various reservations, eight for death with stay of execution until
after the peace, two for delay with power of commutation." Three
Protestant ministers and eighteen Catholic priests voted for death.
Louis' defenders were there and asked to be heard: they were admitted to
the honours of the sitting. At eleven o'clock the weary business of
thirty-seven hours was ended, only, however, to be resumed the next
morning, for yet another vote must decide between delay or summary
execution. Again the voice of Paine was heard pleading for mercy, but
without avail. At three o'clock on Sunday morning the final voting was
over. Six hundred and ninety members were present, of whom three hundred
and eighty voted for death within twenty-four hours.

[Illustration: EIFFEL TOWER.]

To the guillotine on the fatal Place de la Révolution, formerly Place
Louis XV., the very scene of a terrible panic at his wedding festivities
which cost the lives of hundreds of sightseers, the sixteenth Louis of
France was led on the morning of 21st January 1793. As he turned to
address the people, Santerre ordered the drums to beat--it was the
echo of the drums reverberating through history which had smothered the
cries of the Protestant martyrs sent to the scaffold by the fourteenth
Louis a century before. This was the beginning of that _année terrible_,
into which was crowded the most stupendous struggle in modern history.
Threatened by the monarchies of Europe, who were united in an unholy
crusade to crush the Revolution, France, in the tremendous words of
Danton, flung to the coalesced kings the head of a king as gage of
battle. A colossal energy, an unquenchable devotion were evoked by the
supreme crisis, and directed by a committee of nine inexperienced young
civilians, sitting in a room of the Tuileries at Paris, to whom later
Carnot, an engineer officer, was added. "The whole Republic," they
proclaimed, "is a great besieged city: let France be a vast camp. Every
age is called to defend the liberty of the Fatherland. The young men
will fight: the married will forge arms. Women will make clothes and
tents: children will tear old linen for lint. Old men shall be carried
to the market-place to inflame the courage of all." In twenty-four hours
60,000 men were enrolled; in two months fourteen armies organised.
Saltpetre for powder failed; it was torn from the bowels of the earth.
Steel, too, and bronze were lacking: iron railings were transmuted into
swords, and church bells and royal statues into cannon. Paris became a
vast armourer's shop. Smithy fires in hundreds roared and anvils clanged
in the open places--one hundred and forty at the Invalides, fifty-four
at the Luxembourg. The women sang as they worked:--

    "Cousons, filons, cousons bien,
     V'là des habits de notre fabrique
     Pour l'hiver qui vient.
     Soldats de la Patrie
     Vous ne manquerez de rien."[163]

The smiths chanted to the rhythm of their strokes:--

                 "Forgeons, forgeons, forgeons bien!"

On the new standards waving in the breeze ran the legend: "The French
people risen against Tyrants." Toulon was in the hands of the English;
Lyons in revolt. With enemies in her camp, with one arm tied by the
insurrection in La Vendée, the Revolution hurled her ragged and despised
_sans-culottes_, shod in pasteboard or straw bands, mantled in a piece
of matting skewered above their shoulders, against her enemies. How vain
is the wisdom of the great! Burke thought that the Revolution had
expunged France in a political sense out of the system of Europe, and
his opinion was shared by every statesman in Europe, but before the year
closed the proud and magnificently accoutred armies of kings were
scattered over the borders, civil war was crushed at home, the
Revolution triumphant. The Convention fixed the day of victory. It
ordered its generals to end the war of La Vendée by 20th October: by the
17th four defeats had been inflicted on the insurgents, and 60,000 men,
women and children were driven over the Loire. Soon the "dwarfish,
ragged _sans-culottes_, the small, black-looking Marseillaise dressed in
rags of every colour," whom Goethe saw tramping out of Mayence "as if
the goblin king had opened his mountains and sent forth his lively host
of dwarfs," had forced Prussia, the arch-champion of monarchy, to make
peace and leave its Rhine provinces in the hands of regicides. Meanwhile
terror reigned in Paris. In the frenzy of mortal strife the Revolution
struck out blindly and cut down friend as well as foe; the innocent with
the guilty. At least the guillotine fell swiftly and mercifully. Gone
were the days of the wheel, the rack, the boiling lead and the stake.
Under the _ancien régime_ the torture of _accused_ persons was one of
the sights shown to foreigners in Paris. Evelyn, when visiting the city
in 1651, was taken to see the torture of an _alleged_ thief in the
Châtelet, who was "wracked in an extraordinary manner, so that they
severed the fellow's joints in miserable sort." Then, failing to extort
a confession, "they increased the extension and torture, and then
placing a horne in his mouth, such as they drench horses with, poured
two buckets of water down, so that it prodigiously swelled him." There
was another "malefactor" to be dealt with, but the traveller had seen
enough, and he leaves reflecting that it represented to him "the
intolerable sufferings which our Blessed Saviour must needs undergo when
His body was hanging with all its weight upon the nailes of the Crosse."

Too much prominence has been given by historians to the dramatic and
violent activities of the men of '93, to the exclusion of acts of
peaceful and constructive statesmanship. Among the 11,210 decrees issued
by the National Convention in Paris from September '92 to October '95,
the following are cited by Louis Blanc:--

     That _maisons nationales_ be opened where children should be fed,
     housed and taught gratuitously.

     That primary schools be established throughout the Republic, and
     that three progressive stages of education be established embracing
     all that a man and a citizen should know.

     That each Department should possess a Central School.

     That a Normal School at Paris should teach the art of teaching.

     That special schools be established for the study of the sciences,
     Oriental languages, the veterinary art, rural economy and

It appointed a Commission to examine and report upon works relating to
the moral and physical education of children and opened a competition
for the composing of elementary books.

It systematised the teaching of the French language.

It ordered an inventory to be taken of collections of works of art.

It fulminated against the degradation of public monuments.

It founded national rewards for great discoveries.

It gave lavish help to artists and savants.

It offered a prize for the perfecting of the art of spinning.

It ordered the publication of a translation of Bacon's works found among
the papers of one of the condemned on the 9th of Thermidor.

It decided that scientific voyages should be organised at the expense of
the State, and that the Republic be charged with the maintenance of
artists sent to Rome.

It decreed the adoption, began the discussion, and voted the most
important articles of the civil code.

It inaugurated the telegraph and the decimal system, established the
uniformity of weights and measures, the bureau of longitudes, reformed
the calendar, instituted the Grand Livre, increased and completed the
Museum of Natural History, opened the Museum of the Louvre, created the
Conservatoire of the Arts and Crafts, the Conservatoire of Music, the
Polytechnic School and the Institute.

The truly great work of education initiated by the Convention can only
be appreciated by recalling its previous condition. The old colleges
were utterly neglected. In such as survived, little more than Latin (and
that inefficiently) and a few scraps of history were taught. The natural
sciences were wholly neglected; the children of the noblesse were
educated by private tutors, and only in showy accomplishments. Madame
Campan relates that the Princess Louise had not even mastered the
alphabet at twelve years of age.

The Convention abolished negro slavery in the French colonies, and
Wilberforce reminded a hostile House of Commons that infidel and
anarchic France had given example to Christian England in the work of
emancipation. In 1793 it was reported to the Convention that the aged
Goldoni had been in receipt of a pension from the _ancien régime_ and
was now dependent on the slender resources of a compassionate nephew:
the Convention at once decreed as an act of justice and beneficence that
the pension of 4000 livres should be renewed, and all arrears paid up.
This is but one of many acts of grace and succour among the records of
the Convention. The same day, 7th February, an artist of Toulouse was
awarded 3000 livres. It is curious to read in the journals of early '93
how fully assured the revolutionists were of the sympathy of England,
"that proud and generous nation, whose name alone, like that of Rome,
evokes ideas of liberty and independence," their appeals to the English
nation, whose example they had followed, not to allow the quarrels of
kings to embroil them in a conflict fatal to humanity. At the meetings
of the Jacobins, flags of England, America and France were unfurled,
with cries of "_Vivent les trois peuples libres_."

The closing months of '95 were sped with those whiffs of grape shot from
the Pont Royal and the Rue St. Honoré, that shattered the last attempt,
this time by the Royalists, at government by insurrection. The
Convention closed its stupendous career, and five Directors of the
Republic met in a room furnished with an old table, a sheet of paper and
an ink-bottle, and set about organising France for a normal and
progressive national life. But Europe had by her fatuous interference
with the internal affairs of France sown dragons' teeth indeed. A nation
of armed men had sprung forth, nursing hatred of monarchy and habituated
to victory. "_Eh, bien, mes enfants_," cried a French general before an
engagement when provisions were wanting to afford a meal for his troops,
"we will breakfast after the victory." But militarism invariably ends in
autocracy. The author of those whiffs of grape shot was appointed in
1796 Commander-in-Chief of the army of Italy, and a new and sinister
complexion was given to the policy of the Republic. "Soldiers," cries
Napoleon, "you are half-starved and almost naked; the Government owes
you much but can do nothing for you. Your patience, your courage do you
honour, but win for you neither glory nor profit. I am about to lead you
into the most fertile plains of the world; you will find there great
cities and rich provinces; there you will reap honour, glory and riches.
Soldiers of Italy, will you lack courage?" This frank appeal to the
baser motives that sway men's minds, this open avowal of a personal
ambition, was the beginning of the end of Jacobinism in France. Soon the
wealth of Italy streamed into the bare coffers of the
Directory:--20,000,000 of francs from Lombardy, 12,000,000 from Parma
and Modena, 35,000,000 from the Papal States, an equally large sum from
Tuscany; one hundred finest horses of Lombardy to the five Directors,
"to replace the sorry nags that now draw your carriages"; convoys of
priceless manuscripts and sculpture and pictures to adorn the galleries
of Paris. So persistent were these raids on the collections of art in
Italy that Napoleon is known there to this day as _il gran ladrone_. The
chief duty of the new French officials in Italy, said Lucien Bonaparte,
is to supervise the packing of pictures and statues for Paris. No less
than 5233 of these works of art were confiscated by the Allies in 1815,
and returned to their former owners.

In less than a decade the rusty old stage properties and the baubles of
monarchy were furbished anew, sacred oil from the little phial of Rheims
anointed the brow of a new dynast, and a Roman Pontiff blessed the crown
with which a once poor, pensioned, disaffected Corsican patriot crowned
himself lord of France in Notre Dame. The old pomposities of a court
came strutting back to their places:--Arch Chancellors, Grand Electors,
Constables, Grand Almoners, Grand Chamberlains, Grand Marshals of the
Palace, Masters of the Horse, Masters of the Hounds, Madame Mère and a
bevy of Imperial Highnesses with their ladies-in-waiting. Only one thing
was wanting, as a Jacobin bitterly remarked--the million of men who were
slain to end all that mummery. The fascinating story of how this amazing
transformation was effected cannot be told here. The magician who
wrought it was possessed of a soaring, visionary imagination, of a
mental instrument of incomparable force and efficiency, of an iron will,
a prodigious intellectual activity, and a piercing insight into the
conditions of material success, rarely, if ever before, united in the
same degree in one man. Napoleon Bonaparte was of ancient, patrician
Florentine blood, and perchance the descendant of one of those of

    "In cui riviva la sementa santa
     Di quei Romani che vi rimaser quando
     Fu fatto il nido di malizia tanta."[164]

He cherished a particular affection for Italy, and, so far as his
personal aims allowed, treated her generously. His descent into Lombardy
awakened the slumbering sense of Italian nationality. In more senses
than one, says Mr Bolton King, the historian of Italian unity, Napoleon
was the founder of modern Italy.

The reason of Napoleon's success in France is not far to seek. Two
streams of effort are clearly traceable through the Revolution. The
earlier thinkers, such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, D'Alembert, Diderot and
the Encyclopedists, whose admiration for England was unbounded, aimed at
reforming the rotten state of France on the basis of the English
parliamentary and monarchical system. It was a middle-class movement for
the assertion of its interests in the state and for political freedom.
The aim of the Jacobin minority, inspired by the doctrines of the
_Contrat Social_ of Rousseau, was to found a democratic state based on
the principle of the sovereignty of the people. If the French crown and
the monarchies of Europe had allowed the peaceful evolution of national
tendencies, the Constitutional reformers would have triumphed, but in
their folly they tried to sweep back the tide, with the result we have
seen. For when everything is put to the touch, when victory is the
price of self-sacrifice, it is the idealist who comes to the front. As
the nineteenth century prophet Mazzini taught, men will lay down their
lives for principles but not for interests.

Let us not forget that it was the Jacobin minority which saved the
people of France. Led astray by their old guides, abandoned in a dark
and trackless waste, their heads girt with horror, menaced by
destruction on every side, they groped, wandering hither and thither
seeking an outlet in vain. At length a voice was heard, confident,
thrilling as a trumpet call: "Lo this is the way! follow, and ye shall
emerge and conquer!" It may not have been the best way, but it was a way
and they followed.


It is easy enough to pour scorn on the _Contrat Social_ as a political
philosophy, but an ideal, a faith, a dogma are necessary to evoke
enthusiasm, the contempt of material things and of death itself. These
the _Contrat Social_ gave. Its consuming passion for social justice, its
ideal of a state founded on the sovereignty of the people became the
gospel of the time. Men and women conned its pages by heart and slept
with the book under their pillows. Napoleon himself in his early Jacobin
days was saturated with its doctrines, and in later times astutely used
its phrases as shibboleths to cloak his acts of despotism. But in that
terrible revolutionary decade the Jacobins had spent their lives and
their energies. A profound weariness of the long and severe tension, and
a yearning for a return to orderly civil life came over men's minds. The
masses were still sincerely attached to the Catholic faith; the
middle-classes hailed with relief the advent of the strong man who
proved himself able to crush faction; the peasants were won by a
champion of the Revolution who made impossible the return of the evil
days of the _ancien régime_ and guaranteed them the possession of the
confiscated _émigré_ and ecclesiastical lands; the army idolised the
great captain who promised them glory and profit; the Church rallied to
an autocrat who restored the hierarchy. Moreover, the brilliancy of
Napoleon's military genius was balanced by an all-embracing political
sagacity. The chief administrative decrees of the Convention, especially
those relating to education and the civil and penal codes, were welded
into form by ceaseless energy. Everything he touched was indeed degraded
from the Republican ideal, but he drove things through and imposed his
own superhuman activity into his subordinates, and became one of the
chief builders of modern France. "The gigantic entered into our very
habits of thought," said one of his ministers. But his efforts to
maintain the stupendous twenty years' duel with the combined forces of
England and the continental monarchies, and his own over-weening
ambition, broke him at length, and he fell to fret away his life caged
in a lonely island in mid-Atlantic.

The new ideas were none the less revolutionary of social life. The
salon, that eminently French institution, soon felt their power. The
charming irresponsible gaiety and frivolity of the old _régime_ gave
place to more serious preoccupation with political movements. The fusing
power of Rousseau's genius had melted all hearts; the solvent wit of
Voltaire and the precise science of the Encyclopedists were a potent
force even among the courtiers themselves. The centre of social life
shifted from Versailles to Paris and the salons gained what the court
lost. Fine ladies had the latest pamphlet of Siéyès read to them at
their toilette, and maids caught up the new phrases from their
mistresses' lips. Did a young gallant enter a salon excusing himself for
being late by saying, "I have just been proposing a motion at the club,"
every fair eye sparkled with interest. A deputy was a social lion, and a
box for the National Assembly exchanged for one at the opera at a
premium of six livres. Speeches were rehearsed at the salons and action
determined. Chief of the hostesses was Madame[165] Necker: at her
crowded receptions might be seen Abbé Siéyès, the architect of
Constitutions; Condorcet, the philosopher; Talleyrand, the patriotic
bishop; Madame de Stäel, with her strong, coarse face and masculine
voice and gestures. More intimate were the Tuesday suppers at which a
dozen chosen guests held earnest communion. Madame de Beauharnais was
noted for her excellent table, and her Tuesday and Thursday dinners: at
her rooms the masters of literature and music had been wont to meet. Now
came Buffon the naturalist; Bailly of Tennis Court oath fame; Clootz,
the friend of humanity. The widow of Helvetius, with her many memories
of Franklin, welcomed Volney, author of the _Ruins of Empires_, and
Chamfort, the candid critic of Academicians. At the salon of Madame
Pancroute, Barrère, the glib orator of the Revolution, was the chief

Julie Talma was famed for her literary and artistic circle. Here Marie
Joseph Chenier, the revolutionary dramatic poet of the Comédie
Française, declaimed his couplets. Here came Vergniaud, the eloquent
chief of the ill-fated Gironde; Greuze, the painter; Roland, the stern
and minatory minister, who spoke bitter words, composed by his wife, to
the king; Lavoisier, the chemist, who begged that the axe might be
stayed while he completed some experiments, and was told that the
Republic had no need of chemists. Madame du Deffand, whose hotel in the
Rue des Quatre Fils still exists, welcomed Voltaire, D'Alembert,
Montesquieu and the Encyclopedists.

In the street, the great open-air salon of the people, was a feverish
going to and fro. Here were the tub-thumpers of the Revolution holding
forth at every public place; the strident voices of ballad-singers at
the street corners; hawkers of the latest pamphlets hot from the Quai
des Augustins; the sellers of journals crying the _Père Duchesne_,
_L'Ami du Peuple_, the _Jean Bart_, the _Vieux Cordelier_. Crowds
gathered round Bassett's famous shop for caricature at the corner of the
Rue St. Jacques and the Rue des Mathurins. The walls of Paris were a
mass of variegated placards and proclamations. The charming signs of
the old _régime_ the Pomme rouge, the Rose Blanche, the Ami du Coeur,
the Gracieuse, the Trois Fleurs-de-lys couronnées gave place to the
"Necker," the "National Assembly," the "Tiers," the
"Constitution"--these, too, soon to be effaced by more Republican
appellations. For on the abolition of the monarchy and the inauguration
of the Religion of Nature, the words "royal" and "saint" disappear from
the revolutionary vocabulary. A new calendar is promulgated: streets and
squares are renamed: rues des Droits de l'Homme, de la Revolution, des
Piques de la Lois, efface the old landmarks. We must now say Rue Honoré,
not St. Honoré, and Mont Marat for Montmartre. Naturalists had written
of the queen bee: away with the hated word! She is now named of all good
patriots the _abeille pondeuse_, the egg-laying bee. No more emblems on
playing cards of king, queen, and knave: allegorical figures of Genius,
Liberty and Equality take their places, and since Law alone is above
them all, Patriotism, as it flings down its biggest card, shall cry no
longer, "Ace of trumps," but "Law of trumps," and "Genius of trumps."
Furniture is of Spartan simplicity. The people lie down on patriotic
beds and eat and drink from patriotic mugs and platters. Silver buckles
are needed by the national war chest: shoes shall now be clasped by
patriotic buckles of copper. The monarchial "_vous_" (you) shall give
place to "_toi_" (thou); and "monsieur" and "madame" to "_citoyen_" and
"_citoyenne_." The formal subscriptions to letters, "Your humble
servant," "Your obedient servant," shall no more recall the old days of
class subjection; we write now "Your fellow citizen," "Your friend,"
"Your equal." Every house bears an inscription, giving the names and
ages of the occupants, decorated with patriotic colours of red, white
and blue, with figures of the Gallic cock and the _bonnet rouge_. Over
every public building runs the legend, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity or
Death"--it is even seen over the cages of the wild beasts at the Jardin
des Plantes.

Nowhere did the revolutionary ploughshare cut deeper than among the
clergy and the religious orders. Nearly forty monasteries and convents
were suppressed in Paris, and strange scenes were those when the troops
of monks and friars issued forth to secular life, some crying, "_Vive
Jesus le Roi et la Revolution_," for the new ideas had penetrated even
the cloister. The barbers' shops were invaded, and strange figures were
seen smoking their pipes along the Boulevards. Some went to the wars;
others, especially the Benedictines, appealed for teaching appointments;
many, faithful to their vows, went forth to poverty, misery and death.

The nuns and sisters gave more trouble, and the scenes that attended
their expulsion and that of the non-juring clergy burned deep into the
memories of the pious. "What do they take from me?" cried the _curé_ of
St. Marguerite in his farewell sermon. "My cure? All that I have is
yours, and it is you they despoil. My life? I am eighty-four years of
age, and what of life remains to me is not worth the sacrifice of my
principles." Descending the pulpit the venerable priest passed through a
sobbing congregation to a garret in one of the Faubourgs. There were but
few, however, who imitated the dignified protest of the _curé_ of St.
Marguerite. Many a pulpit rang with fiery denunciations, which recalled
the savage fanaticism of the league. Some of the younger clergy and a
few of the bishops were on the side of the early Revolutionists. The
Abbé Fouchet was the Peter the Hermit of the crusade for Liberty, and so
popular were his sermons in Notre Dame that a seat there fetched
twenty-four sous. But the corruption and apostasy of the hierarchy as a
whole, and their betrayal of the people, had borne its acrid fruit of
popular contempt and hostility, resulting in the monstrous profanation
of Notre Dame and other churches of Paris by the fanatics of the worship
of Nature and the puerile Deistic theatricalities of Robespierre's
Feasts of the Supreme Being. Compromise became impossible and the
Revolutionists found arrayed against them the most universal and the
deepest of human sentiments, the strongest cementing force in civil
life. Less than eight years after Robespierre's solemn comedy of the
_Etre Suprème_ all the hierarchy of the old religion returned--sixty
archbishops and bishops, and an army of priests. A gorgeous Easter Mass
in Notre Dame celebrated the re-establishment of the Catholic faith by
Napoleon, the heir of the Revolution.

It is not within the scope of the present work to deal with the later
annals of France. Superficial students of her modern history have freely
charged her with political irresponsibility and fickleness; no charge
could be less warranted by facts. For a thousand years her people were
loyal and faithful subjects of a monarchy, and endured for a century and
a half an infliction of misgovernment, oppression and grinding taxation
such as probably no other European people would have tolerated. With
touching fidelity and indomitable steadfastness the French people have
cherished the principles of the Great Revolution, in whose name they
swept the shams and wrongs of the _ancien régime_ away. There is a
profounder truth than perhaps Alphonse Karr imagined in his famous
epigram, _Plus ça change plus c'est la même chose_. Every political
upheaval of the nineteenth century in Paris has been at bottom an effort
to realise the revolutionary ideals of political freedom and social
equality in the face of external violence or internal corruption and
treachery. Twice the hated Bourbons were re-imposed on the people of
Paris by the bayonets of the foreigner; twice they rose and chased them
away. A compromise followed--that of a citizen king, Louis Philippe of
Orleans, once a Jacobin doorkeeper and a soldier of the Revolution, who
had fought valiantly at Valmy and Jemappes. But he too identified
himself with reactionary ministers, and became a fugitive to England,
the bourne of deposed kings. The Second Republic which followed grew
distrustful of the people and disfranchised at one stroke 3,000,000
citizens: one of the causes of the success of the _coup d'état_ of
Napoleon III. was an astute edict which restored universal suffrage.

During the negation of political rectitude and decency which
characterised the period of the Second Empire a little band of
Republicans refused to bow the knee to the new pinchbeck Cæsar, and,
inspired by Victor Hugo, their fiery poet and seer, whose _Châtiments_
have the passionate intensity of an Isaiah, braved exile, poverty,
calumny and flattery. They "stooped into a dark, tremendous sea of
doubt, pressed God's lamp to their breasts and emerged" to witness a sad
and bitter day of reckoning, when the corruption and vice of the Second
Empire were swallowed up in shame and disaster at Sedan. The Third
Republic, with admirable energy and patriotism, rose to save the
self-respect of France. The first and Imperial war, up to Sedan, was
over in a month; the second national and popular war endured for five


Dynastic and ecclesiastical ambition die hard, and the new Republic has
had to weather many a storm in her career of a third of a century.
Carducci in a fine poem has imagined Letizia, mother of the Bonapartes,
a wandering shade haunting the desolate house at Ajaccio and recalling
the tragic fate of her children:--a Corsican Niobe standing on her
threshold and fiercely stretching forth her arms to the savage Ocean,
calling, calling, that from America, from Britain, from burning Africa,
some one of her tragic progeny may come to find a haven in her breast.
But the assegais of South African savages laid low the last hope of the
Imperialists, and it may reasonably be predicted that neither the shades
nor the living descendants of Bonaparte or Bourbon will ever trouble
again the internal peace of France nor her people be ruled by one
"regnant by right divine and luck o' the pillow." Throughout the whole
land a profound desire of peace possesses men's minds[166] and a firm
determination to effect a material and moral recuperation from the
disasters of the Empire. Two facts in modern France have impressed the
present writer in his travels since 1870--the extraordinary number of
new schools that have been raised and staffed throughout the length and
breadth of the land and the wonderful activity of the Catholic church as
shown by new churches and foundations.

The beneficent results of the Great Revolution have leavened the whole
world. In no small degree may it be said of France that by her stripes
we have been healed. With true insight the Revolutionists perceived that
liberty is the one essential element of national progress--

    "When liberty goes out of a place it is not the first to go,
     Nor the second or third to go,
     It waits for all the rest to go, it is the last."

But the great work is yet incomplete. Political liberty and equality
have been won. A more tremendous task awaits the peoples of the old and
new worlds alike--to achieve industrial emancipation and inaugurate a
reign of social justice. And we know that Paris will have no small part
in the solution of this problem.

       *       *       *       *       *

It now remains to consider the impress which this stormy period left on
the architecture of Paris. We have seen that the Convention assigned the
royal Palace of the Louvre for the home of a national museum. The
neglect of the fabric, however, continued. Already Marat had
appropriated four of the royal presses and their accessories for the
_Ami du Peuple_, and the types founded for Louis XIV. were used to print
the diatribes of the fiercest advocate of the Terror. All along the
south façade, print and cook shops were seen, and small huckstering went
on unheeded. In 1794 the ground floor of the Petite Galerie was used as
a Bourse. On the Place du Carrousel, and the site of the Squares du
Louvre were a mass of mean houses which remained even to comparatively
recent times. In 1805 the masterful will and all-embracing activity of
Napoleon were directed to the improvement of Paris, which he determined
to make the most beautiful capital in the world. His architects, Percier
and Fontaine, were set to work on the Louvre, and yet another vast plan
was elaborated for completing the Palace. A northern wing, corresponding
to Henry IV.'s south wing, was to be built eastwards along the new Rue
de Rivoli, from the Pavilion de Marsan at the north end of the
Tuileries; the Carrousel was to be traversed by a building, separating
the two palaces, designed to house the National Library, the learned
Societies and other bodies. Of this ambitious plan, however, all that
was carried out was a portion of the Rue de Rivoli façade, from the
Pavilion de Marsan to the Pavilion de Rohan, which latter was finished
under the Restoration. Some external decorative work was carried out on
the south façade. Perrault's Colonnade was restored, the four façades of
the quadrangle were completed, and a new bridge to lead to the "Palace
of the Arts" was built. Little or nothing was done to further Napoleon's
plan until the Republic of 1848 decreed the completion of the north
façade, which was actually achieved under the Second Empire by Visconti
in 1857, who built other structures, each with three courts, inside the
great space enclosed by the north and south wings to correct their want
of parallelism. Later (1862-1868), Henry the Fourth's long gallery and
the Pavilions de Flore and Lesdiguières were rebuilt, and smaller
galleries were added to those giving on the Cour des Tuileries. After
the disastrous fire which destroyed the Tuileries in 1871, the Third
Republic restored the Pavilions de Flore and de Marsan.

But the vicissitudes of this wonderful pile of architecture are not yet
ended. The discovery of Perrault's base at the east and of Lemercier's
at the north, will inevitably lead to their proximate disclosure. Ample
space remains at the east for the excavation of a wide and deep fosse,
which would expose the wing to view as Perrault intended it; but on the
Rue de Rivoli side the problem is more difficult, and probably a narrow
fosse, or _saut de loup_, will be all that space will allow there.

Napoleon I.'s new streets near the Tuileries and the Louvre soon became
the fashionable quarter of Paris. The Italian arcades and every street
name recalled a former victory of the Consulate in Italy and Egypt. The
military glories of a revolutionary empire, which at one time
transcended the limits of that of Charlemagne; which crashed through the
shams of the old world and toppled in the dust their imposing but hollow
state, were wrought in bronze on the Vendôme Column, cast from the
cannon captured from every nation in Europe. The Triumphal Arch of the
Carrousel, crowned by the bronze horses from St. Mark's at Venice; the
majestic Triumphal Arch of the Etoile--a partially achieved project--all
paraded the Emperor's fame. Of more practical utility were the quays
built along the south bank of the Seine; the bridges of Austerlitz and
Jena, which latter Blücher would have blown up had Wellington permitted

The erection of the new church of the Madeleine, begun in 1764, had been
interrupted by the Revolution, and in 1806, Napoleon ordered that it
should be completed as a Temple of Glory. The Restoration transformed it
to a Catholic church, which was finally completed under Louis Philippe
in 1842. It is now the most fashionable place of worship in Paris.
Napoleon drove sixty new streets through Paris, cleared away the posts
that marked off the footways, began the raised pavements and kerbs, and
ordered the drainage to be diverted from the gutters in the centre of
the roadway.

The Restoration erected two basilicas--Notre Dame de Lorette and St.
Vincent de Paul--the latter made famous by Flandrin's masterly frescoes,
painted on a gold ground around the nave and choir. The Expiatory Chapel
raised to the memory of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette on the site of
the old cemetery of the Madeleine--where they lay, until transferred to
St. Denis, in one red burial with the brave Swiss Guards who vainly
spent their lives for them--is now threatened with demolition. Three new
bridges--of the Invalids, the Archevêché and Arcole--were added, and
fifty-five new streets.

Under the citizen king, Napoleon's Arch of Triumph of the Etoile was
completed, and the Columns of Luxor, on the Place de la Concorde, and of
July on the Place de la Bastille, were raised. It was the period of the
admirable architectural restorations of Viollet le Duc. The great
architect has described how his passion for Gothic was stirred when,
taken as a boy to Notre Dame, the rose window of the south seized upon
his imagination. While gazing at it the organ began to play, and he
thought that the music came from the window--the shrill, high notes from
the light colours, the solemn, bass notes from the dark and more subdued
hues. It was a reverent and admiring spirit such as this which inspired
the famous architect's loving treatment of the Gothic restoration in
Paris and all over France. To him more than to any other artist we owe
the preservation of such masterpieces as Notre Dame and the Sainte

But the great changes which have made modern Paris were effected under
the Second Empire. In 1854, when the Haussemannisation of the city
began, the Paris of the First Empire and of the Restoration remained
essentially unaltered. It was a city of a few grand streets and of many
mean ones. Pavements were still rare, and drainage was imperfect. In a
few years the whole aspect was changed. Twenty-two new boulevards and
avenues were created. Streets of appalling uniformity and directness
were ploughed through Paris in all directions. "Nothing is more brutal
than a straight line," says Victor Hugo, and there is little of interest
in the monotonous miles of dreary coincidence which constitute the
architectural legacy of the Second Empire.



The sad task of the Third Republic has been to heal the wounds and
cover up the destruction wrought by the Civil War of 1871. The chief
architectural creations of the Third Republic are the Hôtel de Ville,
the new Sorbonne, the Trocadero, and the completion of the magnificent
and colossal temple, rich with precious marble and stone of every kind,
which, at a cost of £10,000,000 sterling, has been raised to the Muses
at the end of the Avenue de l'Opéra. The Church, too, has lavished her
millions on the mighty basilica of the Sacré Coeur, which dominates
Paris from the heights of Montmartre. But some of the glory of past ages
remains hidden away in corners of the city; some has been recovered from
the vandalism of iconoclastic eighteenth-century architects, canons,
revolutionists and nineteenth-century prefects.

Let us now wander awhile about the great city and refresh our memories
of her dramatic past by beholding somewhat of the interest and beauty
which have been preserved to us; for "to be in Paris itself, amid the
full, delightful fragrance of those dainty visible things which
Huguenots despised--that, surely, were the sum of good fortune!"



[Illustration: NOTRE DAME, SOUTH SIDE.]

There are few spots in Europe where so many associations are crowded
together as on the little island of the Cité in Paris. In Gallo-Roman
times it was, as we have seen, even smaller, three islets having been
incorporated with it since the thirteenth century. Some notion of the
changes that have swept over its soil may be conceived on scanning
Félibien's 1725 map, where no less than eighteen churches are marked,
scarce a wrack of which now remains on the island. We must imagine the
old mediæval Cité as a labyrinth of crooked and narrow streets, with the
present broad Parvis of Notre Dame of much smaller extent encumbered
with shops and at a lower level. Thirteen steps led up to the Cathedral,
and the Bishop's gallows stood facing them. Against the north tower
leaned the Baptistry (St. Jean le Rond) and St. Denis du Pas against the
apse. St. Pierre aux Boeufs, whose façade has been transferred to St.
Severin's on the south bank, stood at the east corner, St. Christopher
at the west corner of the present Hôtel Dieu which covers the site of
eleven streets and three churches. The old twelfth-century hospital,
demolished in 1878, occupied the whole space, south of the Parvis
between the present Petit Pont and the Pont au Double. It possessed its
own bridge, the Pont St. Charles, over which the buildings stretched,
and joined the annexe (1606), which still exists on the opposite side of
the river. Behind Notre Dame in mediæval times was an open space of
waste land, the Motte aux Papelards, where the servants of the
Cathedral disported themselves. To the east and north-east stood the
cloisters and canons' dwellings, a veritable city within a city, with
four gates and fifty-one houses. Canon Fulbert's house stood on the site
of No. 10 Rue Chanoinesse, and at No. 9 Quai aux Fleurs an inscription
marks the site of the house of Heloise and Abelard. The Rue and Pont
d'Arcole have cleared away the old church of St. Landry and the port of
that name, where up to the reign of Louis XIII. a market was held, at
which foundling children from the hospital on the Parvis could be bought
for thirty sous. The scandal was abolished by the efforts of the
gentle St. Vincent de Paul, Anne of Austria's confessor. Until
comparatively recent times the church of St. Marine was used as a
joiner's workshop, and one of the chapels of the Madeleine, the parish
church of the water-sellers, served as a wine merchant's store! And
where are the Sanctuaries of Ste. Geneviève des Ardents, St. Pierre aux
Liens, St. Denis de la Chartre, St. Germain le Vieux, St. Aignan, Ste.
Croix, St. Symphorien, St. Martial, St. Bartholomew, and the church of
the Barnabites, which replaced that of St. Anne, which replaced the old
abbey church of St. Eloy, all clustering around their parent church of
Our Lady, like nuns under their patroness' mantle? Some remains of the
pavement of St. Aignan's, with the almost effaced lineaments and
inscriptions on the flat tombstones of those, now forgotten, who in
their day were doubtless famous churchmen, may be seen in the court of
No. 26 Rue Chanoinesse; but the only ancient buildings that rest on the
old Cité are Notre Dame and some portions of the Palais, including the
Sainte Chapelle. Not a street retains its old aspect. The clock tower of
the Palais dates from 1849, and the face of Germain Pilon's famous clock
has been re-carved. The Quai de l'Horloge, once named of the _morfondus_
(chilled), because of its cold, northern, sunless aspect, where Madame
Roland spent her childhood in her father's house, has been widened and
lowered. There, at least, is a fine relic of old Paris, the picturesque,
mediæval towers of the Conciergerie, in olden times the principal
entrance to the Palace. A fifteenth-century tower called of Dagobert, in
the Rue Chanoinesse, is shown to travellers by the courtesy of Messieurs
Allez Frères, and marks the site of the old port of St. Landry.


If the traveller will place himself on the Pont Royal or on the Pont du
Carrousel, and look towards the Cité when the tall buildings, the spire
of the Sainte Chapelle and the massive grey towers of Notre Dame are
ruddy with the setting sun, he will enjoy a scene of beauty not easily
surpassed in Europe. Across the picture, somewhat marred by the unlovely
Pont des Arts, marches the procession of the arches of the Pont Neuf
with their graceful curves. Below is the little green patch of garden
and the cascade of the weir; in the centre the bronze horse with its
royal rider, almost hidden by the trees, stands facing the site of the
old garden of the Palais, now the Place Dauphine, where St. Louis sat on
a carpet judging his people, and whence Philip the Fair watched the
flames that were consuming the Grand Master and his companion of the
Knights Templars. To the left are the picturesque mediæval towers of the
Conciergerie and the tall roof of the belfry of the Palais. Around all
are the embracing waters of the Seine breaking the light with their
thousand facets. The island, when seen from the east as one sails down
the river, is not less imposing, for the great mother church of Notre
Dame, with the graceful buttresses of the apse like folded pinions,
seems to brood over the whole Cité.

       *       *       *       *       *

As we turn southwards from the Cité across the Petit Pont we see the old
Roman road, now Rue St. Jacques, rising before us, and on the annexe of
the Hôtel Dieu, in the Place du Petit Pont, are inscribed their
names[167] who nearly twelve centuries ago dared--

    "For that sweet motherland which gave them birth,
     Nobly to do, nobly to die."

[Illustration: ST. SÉVERIN.]

[Illustration: THE OBSERVATORY.]

To left and right are two of the most interesting churches in Paris--St.
Julien le Pauvre, where the University held its first sittings, and St.
Séverin, built on the site of the oratory of Childebert I., where St.
Cloud was shorn and took his vows. Both churches were destroyed by the
Normans. The former was rebuilt in the twelfth century, the latter from
the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries. The portal of St. Séverin
has been, as we have already mentioned, transferred from the
thirteenth-century church of St. Pierre aux Boeufs, in the Cité. Two
small lions in relief, between which the _curés_ of the church in olden
times are said to have exercised justice, have been replaced on either
side of the north door of the tower. This beautiful Gothic temple, with
its magnificent stained glass, was used during the Revolution as a
powder magazine. Hard by, in the picturesque old Rue de la Parchmenerie,
two houses, Nos. 6 and 7, were once the property of the canons of
Norwich Cathedral, who maintained a number of scholars there. Turning
out of this street, the Rue Boutebrie, was in olden times the Rue des
Enlumineurs (illuminators), famous for those who practised the art "_che
alluminare chiamato è in Parisi_." A street (Rue Dante), which bears the
name of the great poet, from whom this line is taken, leads to the Rue
du Fouarre (Straw Street), in one of whose colleges the author of the
_Divina Commedia_ probably sat as scholar. The houses are all
modernised, and the name alone remains. Southwards again, the Rue des
Anglais reminds us that there the English scholars lived; and to the
east is the Place Maubert, of dread memories, for there were burnt many
a Protestant martyr, and the famous printer-philosopher, Etienne Dolet,
whose statue in bronze stands on the Place. Yet further south, near the
site of the old Carmelite monastery in the Rue des Carmes, stood, at No.
15, the Italian College (Collége des Lombards). Much of this "hostel of
the poor Italian scholars of the charity of Our Lady," as rebuilt in
1681 by the efforts of two Irish priests, Michael Kelly and Patrick
Moggin, still remains, including the chapel, and is occupied by a
Catholic Workmen's Club. It formerly gave shelter to forty Irish
missionary priests and an equal number of poor Irish scholars. Some idea
of the vast extent of the ancient foundation will be gained by walking
round to the Rue de la Montagne, where the principal portal may be seen.
If we turn westwards by the Rue des Ecoles, we shall pass the famous
Collége de France, and soon reach the Hôtel de Cluny, and the remains of
the Roman palace and baths. The ruins and ground were purchased by
the Abbots of Cluny in 1340, and the present beautiful late Gothic
mansion was completed for them in 1490. It was often let by the abbots,
and was occupied by James V. of Scotland when he came to Paris in 1536
to celebrate his marriage with Magdalen, daughter of Francis I. In the
frigidarium of the baths are the remains of the altar to Jupiter found
under Notre Dame, a statue of the Emperor Julian, and many a relic of
Roman Paris.


The abbots' delightful old mansion is filled with a rich collection of
mediæval statues, altar paintings, wood carvings, ivories, reliquaries,
stained glass, tapestries (among them the Lady and Unicorn series, the
finest ever wrought), embroideries and textile fabrics, enamels and
goldsmiths' work--all of wondrous beauty and interest. The rooms
themselves, with their fine Renaissance chimney-pieces, where on winter
days wood fires, fragrant and genial, burn, are not the least charming
part of the museum. Many of the objects (about 11,000) exhibited are
uncatalogued, and the old catalogue, long out of date, might well be
classed among the antiquities.

South of the Cluny are the vast buildings of the new Sorbonne, the
modern University of Paris, where some 12,000 students are gratuitously
taught. The vestibule, grand staircase and amphitheatre are of noble and
impressive architecture, and adorned with mural paintings, among which
Puvis de Chavannes' great decorative composition in the amphitheatre is
of chiefest interest. The paintings of the vestibule illustrate scenes
in the history of the University of Paris. Of Richelieu's Sorbonne, the
chapel alone exists to-day: all the remainder has been swept away,
together with the north cloister and church of St. Benoist, where
François Villon assassinated his rival Chermoyé.

We are now on Mont St. Genevieve, crowned by the Panthéon, below which,
at No. 14 Rue Soufflot, an inscription marks the site of the Dominican
monastery, where Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas Aquinas taught. To the
north is the extensive library of St. Genevieve, on the site of the
Collége Montaigue. Behind are the church of St. Etienne du Mont the
burial-place of Racine and Pascal, with its beautiful _jubé_, or choir
screen, and the Lycée Henri IV., enclosing the tower of Clovis, all that
remains of the fine old abbey church of St. Genevieve. Hard by is the
Rue Descartes, where stood the college of Navarre, which was demolished
to give place to the Ecole Polytechnique. Farther south, the Rue de
Navarre leads to the ruins of the great Roman amphitheatre.


West of the Boulevard St. Michel are the fine modern buildings of the
Ecole de Médecine, which, from 1369 to the times of Louis XV., was
situated further eastwards in the Rue de la Bûcherie, where (No. 13)
some remains of the old hall of the Faculty may yet be seen. It was here
that an anatomical and surgical theatre was built in 1617. The old
Franciscan refectory (No. 15 Rue de l'Ecole de Médecine) is all that
remains of the great monastery of the Cordeliers. Here the body of Marat
was laid on an altar, after his assassination by Charlotte Corday in a
house on whose site his statue stands. The refectory is now used as a
pathological museum for medical students. The famous revolutionary club
of the Cordeliers, where the gentler rhetoric of Camille Desmoulins vied
with the thunderous declamation of Danton to stir Republican fervour,
met in the Hall of Theology. At No. 5 are some remains of the school of
surgery, or Guild of St. Cosimo and St. Damian, founded by St. Louis;
adjacent stood the church of St. Cosimo (St. Cosme), famous for the
fiery zeal of its _curé_ during the times of the League.

The surgeons were by their charter compelled to give professional
assistance to the poor every Monday, and in 1561 the _curé_ and
churchwardens of St. Cosme obtained a papal bull authorising them to
erect in their church a suitable consulting hall for the accommodation
of poor patients. In 1694 the surgeons built an anatomical theatre of
their own at St. Cosme, which was enlarged in 1710. The buildings are
now used as a school of decorative art. The magnificent Franciscan
church, where many a queen of France lay buried, stood on the site of
the present Place de l'Ecole de Médecine.

South of these is the Luxembourg Palace, whose charming Renaissance
gardens, unhappily, owing to the erection of the Observatory in 1672,
reduced by more than one-third of their former extent, are the delight
of the Parisians of the south bank of the Seine. The old Orangery,
restored and enlarged, is used as a public museum of contemporary French
art, chiefly painting and sculpture. Here are exhibited the works of
modern artists which have been deemed worthy of acquisition by the
State. They display great talent and technical skill, but the visitor
will leave, impressed by few works of great distinction. The English
traveller will, however, be envious of a collection whose catholicity
embraces examples of the work of two great modern masters, Londoners by
option--Legros and Whistler. Any impression of modern French painting
that may be left on the mind of the visitor by an inspection of the
examples hung in the Luxembourg should however be supplemented and
corrected by a visit to the decorative works in the great public
edifices, such as the Hôtel de Ville, the Sorbonne, the Panthéon, and
the churches of Paris.

North of the Museum loom the massive gloomy towers of the church of St.
Sulpice, which contains, among much mediocre painting, a chapel to the
right of the entrance adorned by some of Delacroix's finest work. Still
further northward is the old abbey church of St. Germain des Prés. But
before entering we may cross the Rue de Rennes and visit (No. 50) the
picturesque Cour du Dragon, so-called from the eighteenth-century figure
of the dragon over the portal. At the end of this curious courtyard,
paved as old Paris was paved, with the gutter in the centre of the
street, will be seen two interesting old towers enclosing stairways.

[Illustration: COUR DU DRAGON.]


The grey pile of St. Germain des Prés, the burial-place of the
Merovingian kings, once refulgent with gold and colour, has been wholly
restored; but on the west porch, over the main entrance, a
well-preserved, Romanesque relief of the Last Supper may be noted. The
admirable frescoes in the interior by Flandrin are among the noblest
achievements of modern French art. Part of the Abbots' Palace of the
sixteenth century is left standing in the Rue de l'Abbaye, but of all
the fortress-monastery, with its immense domain of lands and cloisters,
walls and towers, over which those puissant lords held sway, only a
memory remains: the walls were razed in the seventeenth century and
replaced by artizans' houses. The Rue du Four recalls the old feudal
oven. Lower down the Rue Bonaparte is the little visited but most
interesting Ecole des Beaux Arts, once the monastery of the Petits
Augustins, now rich in examples of early Renaissance architecture and
other artistic treasures. It is a great teaching centre, and trains some
fifteen hundred students in sculpture, painting and architecture.
Westward of this, the artists' quarter of Paris, is the select and
aristocratic, but dull Faubourg St. Germain--the noble Faubourg--where
many of the descendants of the noblesse who escaped from the wreck of
their order during the Revolution, dwell in petulant isolation and
haughty aversion from the Third Republic and all its ways. Further
westward are the great hospital and church of the Invalides, with
Napoleon's majestic monument, and the military school of the Champ de

       *       *       *       *       *

Two parallel historic roads named of St. Martin and St. Denis cut
northwards through the masses of habitations that crowd the northern
bank of the Seine. The former was the great Roman street, leading to the
provinces of the north: the latter, the Grande Chaussée de Monseigneur
St. Denis, led to the shrine of the patron saint and martyr of Lutetia.
Along this, the richest and finest street of mediæval Paris, the kings
of France and Henry V. of England passed in solemn state to Notre Dame.
Four gates, whose sites are known in each of these two streets, mark the
successive stages of the growth of the city. In 1141 a sloping bank of
sand (_grève_), a little to the east of the Rue St. Martin and facing
the old port of the _Naut_ at St. Landry on the island of the Cité, was
ceded by royal charter to the burgesses of Paris for a payment of
seventy livres. "It is void of houses," says the charter, "and is called
the _gravia_, and is situated where the old market-place (_vetus forum_)
existed." This was the origin of the famous Place de Grève where
throbbed the very heart of civic, commercial and industrial Paris. Here
Etienne Marcel purchased for the Hôtel de Ville the Maison aux Piliers
(House of the Pillars), a long, low building, whose upper floor was
supported by columns. Here every revolutionary and democratic movement
has been organised from the days of Marcel to those of the Communes of
1789--when the last Provost of the Merchants met his death--and of 1871,
when Domenico da Cortona's fine Renaissance hotel was destroyed by

[Illustration: ST. GERVAIS.]

The place of sand was much smaller in olden times, and from 1310, when
Philip the Fair burned three heretics, to July 1830, when the last
murderer was hung there, has soaked up the blood of many a famous enemy
of State and Church and of innumerable notorious and obscure criminals.
A permanent gibbet stood there and a market cross. Every St. John's
eve--the church and cloister of St. Jean stood behind the Hôtel de
Ville--a great bonfire was lighted in the Place de Grève, fireworks were
let off, and a salvo of artillery celebrated the festival. When the
relations between Crown and Commune were felicitous the king himself
would take part in the _fête_ and fired the pile with a torch of white
wax which was decorated with crimson velvet. A royal supper and ball in
the Grande Salle concluded the revels. Not infrequently the ashes at the
stake where a poor wretch had met his doom were scarcely cool before the
joyous flames and fireworks of the Feu de St. Jean burst forth. The very
day after the execution of the Count of Bouteville the people were
dancing round the fires of St. John. The Place was often flooded by the
Seine until the embankment was built in 1675. The present Hôtel de
Ville, completed in 1882, is one of the finest modern edifices in


To the east of the hotel stands the church of St. Gervais, whose façade
by Debrosse (1617) "is regarded," says Félibien (1725), "as a
masterpiece of art by the best architectural authorities" ("_les plus
intelligens en architecture_"). The church, which has been several times
rebuilt, occupies the site of the old sixth-century building, near which
stood the elm tree where suitors waited for justice to be done by the
early kings. "_Attendre sous l'orme_" ("To wait under the elm") is still
a proverbial expression for waiting till Doomsday. To the east of the
Rue St. Martin is the quarter of the Marais (marsh) at whose eastern
limit a group of street names recalls the royal palace-city of St. Paul.
At the south of the Rue du Figuier, on the Place de l'Ave Maria, stands
the Hôtel of the Archbishops of Sens, and near by, in the Passage
Charlemagne, is the Hôtel of the royal Provost of Paris. As we cross the
Rue St. Antoine to the old Place Royale (des Vosges), we may note at No.
21 the Hôtel de Mayenne--where the chamber still exists in which the
leaders of the League met and decided to assassinate Henry III.--and at
No. 62, the Hôtel de Sully, where Henry the Fourth's great minister
and, later, Turgot dwelt. The Place Royale occupies the site of the
palace of the Tournelles built for the Duke of Bedford during the
English occupation, near which Henry II. lost his life in the fatal
tournament. The palace became hateful to Catherine de' Medici, and she
had it demolished. The site was subsequently used as a horse market,
and there three mignons of Henry III. fought their bloody duel with
three bullies of the Duke of Guise. The architecture of Henry IV. Place
is little changed; the king's and queen's pavilions stood south and
north; Richelieu occupied the present No. 21, and at No. 6 dwelt Marshal
Lavardin, who was sitting in the coach when his royal master, Henry IV.,
was stabbed. Later this house was occupied by Victor Hugo, and is now
maintained as a museum of much interest to lovers of the darling poet of
nineteenth-century Paris. A little to the west, in the Rue des Francs
Bourgeois, is the Hôtel Carnarvalet, built in 1544 by Jean Bullant, the
architect of the Tuileries, to the design of Pierre Lescot. Jean Goujon
carved, among other decorative works, the fine reliefs of the four
Seasons in the quadrangle where now stands a bronze statue of Louis XIV.
by Coyzevox, brought from the old Hôtel de Ville. In this noble
Renaissance mansion, enlarged by F. Mansard and others, lived for twenty
years Madame de Sévigné, queen of letter writers, and her
_Carnarvalette_, as she lovingly called it, is now the civic museum of
Paris, devoted to objects illustrating the history of the city. It is
especially rich in exhibits bearing on the Great Revolution. Passing
along the Rue des Francs Bourgeois we may note (No. 38) an old
inscription which marks the scene of the assassination of the Duke of
Orleans by Jean sans Peur. At the north corner of the Rue des Archives
is the entrance to the National Archives, housed in the fine
pseudo-classical Hôtel de Soubise, constructed in 1704 on the site of
the Hôtel of the Constable de Clisson, of which the old Gothic
(restored) portal exists in the Rue des Archives. It was at the Hôtel de
Clisson that Charles VI., after his terrible vengeance on the revolted
burgesses, agreed to remit further punishment, and for a time the
mansion was known as the Hôtel des Grâces.


Lower down the Rue des Archives are the Rue de l'Homme Armé and the
fifteenth-century cloisters of the monastery of the Billettes, founded
at the end of the thirteenth century to commemorate the miracle of the
sacred Host, which had defied the efforts of the Jew Jonathan to destroy
it by steel, fire and boiling. The chapel, built in 1294 on the site of
the Jew's house, was rebuilt in 1754, and is now used as a Protestant
church. The miraculous Host was preserved as late as Félibien's time in
St. Jean en Grève, and carried annually in procession on the octave of
Corpus Christi. At the north end of the Rue des Archives is the site,
now a square and a market, of the grisly old fortress of the Knights
Templars, whose walls and towers and round church were still standing a
century ago. The enclosure was a famous place of refuge for insolvent
debtors and political offenders, and sheltered Rousseau in 1765 when a
_lettre de cachet_ was issued for his arrest. In the gloomy keep, which
was not destroyed until 1811, were imprisoned the royal family of France
after the abandonment of the Tuileries on 10th August 1792. The old
market of the Temple, the centre of the _petites industries_ of Paris,
is being demolished as we write. West of this is the huge Museum of the
Arts and Crafts (Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers), on the site of the
abbatial buildings and lands of St. Martin of the Fields, still
preserving in its structure the beautiful thirteenth-century church and
refectory of the Abbey. As we turn southwards again by the Rue St.
Martin we shall pass on our left one of the most curious remains of old
Paris, the narrow Rue de Venise, a veritable mediæval street formerly
known as the Ruelle des Usuriers, the home of the Law speculators where
men almost rent each other in pieces in their mad scramble for fortune.
At No. 27, the corner of the Rue Quincampoix, is the famous old inn of
the Epée de Bois, now A l'Arrivée de Venise, where De Horn, a member of
a princely German family, and two gentlemen assassinated and robbed a
financier in open day, and were broken alive on the wheel in the Place
de Grève. Marivaux and L. Racine are said, with other wits, to have
frequented the old inn, and Mazarin granted letters-patent to a company
of dancing masters, who met there under the management of the Roi des
Violins. From these modest beginnings grew the National Academy of

At the south end of the Rue St. Martin rises the beautiful flamboyant
Gothic tower, all that remains of the great church of St. Jacques de la
Boucherie. This fine monument of the past was saved by the good sense of
the architect Giraud, who, when it was sold to the housebreakers during
the Revolution, inserted a clause in the warrant of sale exempting the
tower from demolition; it was used as a lead foundry, and twice narrowly
escaped destruction by fire. Purchased later by the city it seemed safe
at last, but in 1853 the prolongation of the Rue de Rivoli again
threatened its existence; luckily, however, the line of the new street
passed by on the north. The statue of Pascal, under the vaulting,
reminds the traveller that the great thinker conducted some of his
barometrical experiments on the summit, and the nineteen statues in the
niches mostly represent the patron saints of the various crafts that
settled under its shadow. On the Place du Châtelet, at the foot of the
Pont au Change, stood the massive Grand Châtelet, originally built by
Louis the Lusty near the site of the old fortress, which, during the
Norman invasions defended the approach to the Grand Pont as the Petit
Châtelet did the approach to the Petit Pont on the south. The Grand
Châtelet, demolished in 1802, was the official seat and prison of the
Provost of Paris, where he held his criminal court and organised the
city watch. The Column and Fountain of Victory which now stand in the
Place commemorate the victories of Napoleon in Egypt and Italy.

[Illustration: S. EUSTACHE.]

Nowhere in Paris has the housebreaker's pick been plied with greater
vigour than in the parallelogram enclosed by the Boulevard de
Sebastopol, the Rues Etienne Marcel and du Louvre, and the Seine. The
site of the immense necropolis of the Innocents[168] is now partly
occupied by the Square des Innocents adorned by Lescot's fountain.

A curious early fifteenth-century story is associated with this charnel
house. One morning the wife of Adam de la Gonesse and her niece, two
_bourgeoises_ of Paris, went abroad to have a little flutter and eat two
sous' worth of tripe in a new inn. On their way they met Dame Tifaigne
the milliner, who recommended the tavern of the "Maillez," where the
wine was excellent. Thither they went and drank not wisely but too well.
When fifteen sous had already been spent, they determined to make a day
of it and ordered roast goose with hot cakes. After further drinking,
gauffres, cheese, peeled almonds, pears, spices and walnuts were called
for and the feast ended in songs. When the "bad quarter of an hour" came
they had not enough money to pay, and parted with some of their finery
to meet the score. At midnight they left the inn dancing and singing,--

    "Amours au vireli m'en vois."

The streets of Paris, however, at midnight were unsafe even for sober
ladies, and these soon fell among thieves, were stripped of the rest of
their clothing, then taken up for dead by the watch and flung into the
mortuary in the Cemetery of the Innocents; but to the terror of the
gravedigger were found lying outside the next morning singing,--

    "Druin, Druin, ou es allez?
     Apporte trois harens salez
     Et un pot de vin du plus fort."

The huge piles of skulls and human remains that grinned from under the
gable roof of the gallery painted with the Dance of Death were in 1786
carted away to the catacombs under Paris, formed by the old Gallo-Roman
quarrymen as they quarried the stone used to build Lutetia. An immense
area of picturesque Halles and streets:--the Halle aux Draps; the Marché
des Herboristes, with their mysterious stores of simples and healing
herbs and leeches; the Marché aux Pommes de Terre et aux Oignons; the
butter and cheese markets; the fish market; the queer old Rue de la
Tonnellerie, under whose shabby porticoes, sellers of rags, old clothes,
iron and furniture, crowded against the bread market; the Marché des
Prouvaires, beloved of thrifty housewives--all are swallowed up by the
vast modern structure of iron and glass, known as Les Halles. The Halle
au Blé, or corn market, last to disappear, was built on the site of the
Hôtel de la Reine which Catherine de' Medici had erected when frightened
from the Tuileries by her astrologer Ruggieri. The site is now occupied
by the Bourse de Commerce. One curious decorated and channelled column,
however, which conceals a stairway used by Catherine and her Italian
familiar when they ascended to the roof to consult the stars, was
preserved and made into a fountain in 1812. It still stands against the
new Bourse in the Rue de Viarmes. North of the Halles the small Rue
Pirouette recalls the old revolving pillory of the Halles, and yet
further north, between Nos. 100 and 102 Rue Réamur, a dingy old passage
leads to the Cour des Miracles, which Victor Hugo has made famous in
_Notre Dame_. There, too, was the gambling hell kept by Jean Dubarry,
paramour of Jeanne Vaubernier, who was the daughter of a monk and became
the famous mistress of Louis XV. She was married by Louis to Guillaume,
brother of Jean Dubarry, to give her some standing at court.




At the south angle of the Rue Montmartre the majestic transitional
church of St. Eustache towers over the Halles. We descend the Rue
Vauvilliers, formerly of the Four (oven) St. Honoré, in which two of the
houses still display old painted signs: others retain their quaint
appellations--The Sheep's Trotter, The Golden Sun, The Cat and Ball.
Turning westward by the Rue St. Honoré, we shall find at the corner of
the Rue de l'Arbre Sec the fine fountain of the Croix du Trahoir erected
in the reign of Francis I. and rebuilt by Soufflot in 1775: here
tradition places the cruel death of Queen Brunehaut. Lower down, where
the street intersects the Rue de Rivoli, an inscription on the corner
house to the left marks the site of the Hôtel de Montbazan, where
Coligny was assassinated, and yet lower down the Rue de l'Arbre Sec we
note the Hôtel des Mousquetaires, the dwelling of the famous D'Artagnan
of Dumas' _Trois Mousquetaires_, opposite the apse of the church of St.
Germain l'Auxerrois. After examining the interior of the church,
especially the beautiful fifteenth-century Chambre des Archives, and the
porch of the same date, we are brought face to face with the principal
entrance to the Louvre.

[Illustration: NEAR THE PONT NEUF.]

No other edifice in the world forms so vast a treasure house of rich and
varied works of art as the great Palace of the Louvre whose growth we
have traced in our story. The nucleus of the gallery of paintings was
formed by Francis I. and the Renaissance princes at the palace of
Fontainebleau, where the canvases at the beginning of the seventeenth
century had reached nearly 200. Colbert, during the reign of Louis XIV.
by the purchase of the Mazarin and other collections, added 647
paintings and nearly 6000 drawings in ten years. In 1681 the Cabinet du
Roi, for so the collection of royal pictures was called, was transferred
to the Louvre. They soon, however, followed their owner to Versailles,
but some hundred were subsequently returned to Paris, where they might
be inspected at the Luxembourg Palace by the public on Wednesdays and
Saturdays. In 1709 Bailly, the keeper of the king's cabinet, took an
inventory of the paintings and they were found to number 2376. In 1757
all were again returned to Versailles, and it was not until 1793, when
the National Convention, on Barrère's motion, took the matter in hand,
that they were restored to the Parisians and, together with the works of
art removed from the suppressed churches and monasteries, formed the
famous picture gallery of the Louvre, which was formally opened to the
public on the first anniversary of the memorable 10th of August.
Napoleon's spoils from Italian and other European galleries, which
almost choked the Louvre during his reign, were reduced in 1815 by the
return of 5233 works of art to their original owners, under English
supervision. During the removal of the pictures British sentries were
stationed along the galleries, and British soldiers stood under arms on
the Quadrangle and the Place du Carrousel to protect the workmen.
Subsequent gifts and private legacies have since added priceless
collections, the latest, that of Thomy-Thierry, endowing the Museum with
numerous examples of the Barbizon school.

[Illustration: CARDINAL VIRTUES.


[Illustration: _Diana and the Stag._]

The ground floor, devoted to the plastic arts, contains in its
antique section many excellent Greco-Roman works, but relatively few of
pure Greek workmanship. Among those few are the beautiful reliefs in the
Salle Grecque and, in the Salle de la Vénus de Milo, the best-known and
most-admired example of Greek statues in Europe, which gives its name to
the hall. It was to this exquisite creation of idealised womanhood that
the poet Heine dragged himself in May 1848 to take leave of the lovely
idols of his youth, before he lay, never to raise himself again, on his
mattress-grave in the Rue d'Amsterdam. "As I entered the noble hall," he
writes, "where the most blessed goddess of beauty, our dear Lady of
Milo, stands on her pedestal, I well-nigh broke down and lay at her feet
sobbing so piteously that even a heart of stone must be moved to
compassion. And the goddess gazed at me compassionately, yet withal so
comfortless as who should say, 'Dost thou not see that I have no arms
and cannot help thee?'" It was a God with arms that poor Heine needed.
An early work of a nobler and more virile type meets the visitor as he
mounts the staircase to the Picture Gallery--the Victory of Samothrace,
one of the grandest examples of pure Greek art in its finer period.

Magnificent as the collection of antique sculpture is, the
little-visited Musée des Sculptures du Moyen âge, et de la Renaissance
will be found of greater importance to the student of French art. Here
are examples, few but admirable, of the growth of French sculpture from
the tenth to the sixteenth century contrasted with some masterpieces of
the Italian sculptors, including Michael Angelo's so-called Slaves,
being actually two of the Virtues wrought for the tomb of Pope Julius
II. An interesting thirteenth-century coloured statue of Childebert from
St. Germain des Prés, and a beautiful Death of the Virgin from the St.
Jacques de la Boucherie, later in style, are especially interesting.
Michel Colombe's fine relief of St. George and the Dragon; Germain
Pilon's Theological Virtues from the church of the Célestins, and the
Cardinal Virtues in wood from St. Etienne du Mont; Jean Goujon's Nymphs
of the Seine, and Diana and the Stag, will illustrate the stubborn
resistance made by the characteristic native school of sculpture
against, and its gradual yielding to, the foreign influence of the
Italian Renaissance. The gradual decline of French sculpture during the
seventeenth century, its utter degradation in the reign of Louis XV.,
and signs of its recovery in the revolutionary epoch, may be traced in
the Musée des Sculptures modernes.

[Illustration: _The Burning Bush._]

The last edition (1903) of the _Summary Catalogue_ of the pictures in
the Louvre contains the titles of 2984 works, apart from decorative
ceiling and mural paintings. The visitor must therefore needs make
choice of his own favourite schools or masters, for, if he were to
devote but one minute to a cursory examination of each exhibit,
twenty-five visits of two hours each would be needed to view the whole
collection. The pictures bear evidence of the period during which they
were amassed, for they are rich in examples of the later Italian and
Netherland schools and relatively poor in those of the pre-Raphaelite
masters. But among the latter is Fra Angelico's Coronation of the
Virgin, which Vasari declared must have been painted by the hand of one
of the blessed spirits or angels represented in the picture, so
unspeakably sweet and delightful were their forms, so gentle and
delicate their mien, so glorious their colouration. "Even so," he adds,
"and not otherwise, must they be in heaven, and never do I gaze on this
picture without discovering fresh beauties, and never do I withdraw my
eyes from it sated with seeing." Every phase in Raphael's development,
from the Peruginesque to the Roman periods, may be studied in the
Louvre. No gallery in Europe--not excepting the Accademia of Venice--can
approach the Louvre in the wealth of its Titians, and the same might
almost be said of its Veroneses. It contains the most famous portrait in
the world--Da Vinci's Monna Lisa--and some exquisite examples of Luini's
fresco and easel works. Among the rich collections of Tuscan and
other Italian masters, we may mention two charming frescoes by
Botticelli. In no gallery outside Spain are the Spanish artists,
especially Murillo, so well represented, and magnificent examples of the
later Flemings, Rubens and Van Dyck, adorn its walls. Among the latter
master's works is the Charles I. (No. 1967), bought for the boudoir of
Madame Dubarry by Louis XV. on the fiction that it was a family picture,
since the page holding the horse was named Barry. Michelet, in his
_History of the Revolution_, says that he never visited the Louvre
without staying to muse before this famous historic canvas.[169] Among
the later Dutch masters, most of whom are adequately represented, are
some masterpieces by Rembrandt; of the Germans, Holbein is seen at his
best in some superb portraits.

But the student of French history and lover of French art will
infallibly be drawn to the works of the native French schools, and
especially to those of the earlier masters. For the extraordinary
collection of French Primitifs of the fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries, exhibited at Paris in 1904, and the publication of
Dimier's[170] uncompromising and powerful defence of those critics, who,
like himself, deny the existence of any indigenous French school of
painting whatsoever, have concentrated the attention of the artistic
world on this passionately debated controversy. The writer well
remembers, some twenty years since, being impressed by certain
characteristic traits in the few examples of early French painting hung
in the Louvre, and desiring the opportunity of a wider field of
observation. Such opportunity has at length been given. Now, while it
is quite true that most of the examples of the so-called Franco-Flemish
school exhibited in the Pavilion de Marsan would pass, and have passed,
unquestioned when seen among a collection of Flemish paintings, yet when
massed together, they do display more or less well-defined extra-Flemish
and extra-Italian characteristics--a modern feeling for nature and an
intimate realism in the treatment of landscape, a freer, more supple and
more vivacious drawing of the human figure--that produce a cumulative
effect which is almost irresistible, and may be reasonably explained by
the theory of a school of painters expressing independent local feeling
and genius. We include, of course, the illuminated MSS. exhibited in the
Bibliothèque Nationale and the Books of Hours at Chantilly by Fouquet
and by Pol de Limbourg and his brothers. The latter, by some
authorities, are believed to have been the nephews of Malouel, and to
have studied their art at Paris. The theory of the existence of a
national French school, analogous to the _post_-revolutionary school of
painting, is, of course, untenable, for France, as a nation, can
scarcely be said to have existed, in the wider sense of the term, before
the end of Louis XI.'s reign. When that monarch came to the throne Paris
and North France had been sorely exhausted by the century of the English
wars; Burgundy was an independent state; Provence, with its capital Aix,
and Avignon were independent counties, ruled by the Counts of Provence
and the Pope. A more rational classification into schools would perhaps,
as Dimier has hinted, follow the lines of racial division--French and
Teutonic. For many of the Flemish artists were French in race, as, for
instance, Roger Van der Weyden, who was known to Italians as Rogerus
Gallicus, and called himself Roger de la Pasture.




[Illustration: JUVENAL DES URSINS.


The two great schools of Christian painting in Europe were born, grew
and flourished in the free cities of Flanders in the north, and in the
free cities of Italy in the south. French masters, working in the
provincial centres of Tours, Dijon, Moulins, Aix and Avignon, were
inevitably subdued by the dominant and powerful masters of the north and
south, and how far they succeeded in impressing a local and racial
individuality on their works is, and long will be, a fruitful theme for
constructive artistic criticism. The famous triptych of Moulins, now
with many other works attributed to the painter of the Bourbons, known
as the Maître de Moulins, who was working between 1480 and 1500, has
long been accepted as a work by Ghirlandaio. The well-known painting at
the Glasgow Museum, a Prince of Cleves, with his patron saint, St.
Victor of Paris, now assigned to the Maître de Moulins, was recently
exhibited among the Flemish paintings at Bruges, and has long been
attributed to Hugo Van der Goes. The Burning Bush, given to Nicolas
Fromont, has been with equal confidence classed as a Flemish work, and
even ascribed to Van Eyck; and the Triumph of the Virgin, from
Villeneuve-les-Avignon, now on irrefragable evidence assigned to
Enguerrand Charonton, has been successively attributed to Van Eyck and
Van der Meire. Even if all the paintings which the patriotic bias of
enthusiastic critics has attributed to French masters, known or unknown,
be accepted, the continuity is broken by many gaps, which can only be
filled by assuming, after the fashion of biologists, the existence of
"missing links." Further researches will doubtless elucidate this
fascinating controversy.

Among the French Primitifs[171] possessed by the Louvre may be mentioned
the Martyrdom of St. Denis, and a Pietà, Nos. 995 and 996, attributed
wholly or in part to Malouel, who was working about 1400 for Jean sans
Peur at Dijon. A Pietà (No. 998), now attributed to the school of Paris
of the late fifteenth century, contains an interesting representation of
the Louvre, the abbey of St. Germain des Prés and of Montmartre, and has
been ascribed to a pupil of Van Eyck, and later to an Italian painter
named Fabrino. By Fouquet (about 1415-1480), the best known of the early
French masters, there are portraits of Juvenal des Ursins and Charles
VII. Two works (Nos. 1004 and 1005), the portraits of Pierre II., Duke
of Bourbon, and of Anne of Beaujean, catalogued under unknown masters,
are now assigned by many critics to the Maître de Moulins.[172] Nicholas
Froment, who was working about 1480-1500, is represented by admirable
portraits (No. 304 _a._), of Good King René and Jeanne de Laval, his
second wife. Jean Perréal, believed by M. Hulin to be identical with the
Maître de Moulins, is also represented by a Virgin and Child between two
Donors (No. 1048).

The later master, of Flemish birth, known as Jean Clouet, a painter of
great delicacy, simplicity and charm, who died between 1540 and 1541,
having spent twenty-five years as court painter of France; his brother,
Clouet of Navarre; and his son, François Clouet, who was his assistant
during the ten later years of his life, are all more or less doubtfully
represented. Nos. 126 and 127, portraits of Francis I., are attributed
to Jean Clouet, or Jehannet as this elusive personality is sometimes
known; Nos. 128 and 129, two admirable portraits of Charles IX. and his
queen Elizabeth of Austria, to François Clouet; No. 134, a portrait of
Louis de St. Gellais, is ascribed to Clouet of Navarre. Other portraits
executed at this period will be found on the walls, and are of profound
interest to the student of French history.



The two years' sojourn in France of Solario, at the invitation of the
Cardinal d'Amboise, of Da Vinci at the solicitation of Louis XII., and
the foundation of the school of Fontainebleau by Rosso and Primaticcio,
mark the eclipse of whatever schools of French painting were then
existing, for the grand manner and dramatic power of the Italians,
fostered by royal patronage, carried all before them. Of Rosso, known to
the French as Maître Roux, the Louvre has a Pietà and a classical
subject--The Challenge of the Pierides (Nos. 1485 and 1486). Primaticcio
is represented by some admirable drawings. But the sterility of the
Fontainebleau school may be inferred from the fact that when Marie de'
Medici desired to have the Luxembourg decorated with the events in the
life of Henry IV., her late husband, she was compelled to apply to a

Of Vouet (1590-1649), who is important as the leader of the new French
school of the seventeenth century, the Louvre has some dozen examples,
among them being his masterpiece (No. 971)--The Presentation at the
Temple. Bestowing a passing attention on the lesser masters, and pausing
to appreciate the works of the three brothers Le Nain, who stand
pre-eminent for the healthy, sturdy simplicity of their peasant types
and scenes of lowly life, we turn to Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), the
greatest of the seventeenth-century masters, who spent the whole of his
artistic career in Rome save two unhappy years (1640-1642) at the French
court, which his simple habits and artistic conscience made intolerable
to him. His exalted and lucid conceptions, admirable art and fertility
of invention may be adequately appreciated at the Louvre alone, which
holds nearly fifty examples of his work. The beautiful and pathetic
Shepherds of Arcady (No. 734) is generally regarded as his masterpiece.
A group of shepherds in the fulness of health and beauty are arrested in
their enjoyment of life by the warning inscription on a tomb--"_Et in
arcadia ego_" ("I, too, once lived in Arcady"). Equally rich is the
Louvre in works of Vouet's pupil, Lesueur (1617-1655), one of the twelve
ancients of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. No greater
contrast could be imagined to the frank paganism of Poussin than the
works of this fervently religious and tender artist, whose famous series
from the life of St. Bruno is now placed in Room XII. His careful
application to this monumental task may be estimated by the fact that
146 preliminary studies are preserved in the cabinet of drawings in the
Louvre. The decorative skill, fertility and industry of his contemporary
and fellow-pupil Lebrun (1617-1690), whom Louis XIV. loved to patronise,
may perhaps be better appreciated at Versailles, but the Louvre displays
the celebrated series of the Life of Alexander, executed for the
Gobelins, and some score of his other works. His less talented rival,
Mignard (1612-1695), also a pupil of Vouet, is seen at his best in the
frescoes of the dome[173] of the Val de Grâce, but the oppressive
influence of the Italian eclectics is all too evident in his style. He
excelled in portraiture, and the visitor will not fail to remark the
portraits of Madame de Maintenon, and of the Grand Dauphin with his wife
and children. Louis XIV., who sat to him many times, one day, towards
the end of his life, asked, "Do you find me changed?" "Sire," answered
the courtly painter, "I only perceive a few more victories on your
brow." We may now observe the more grave and virile style of Philippe de
Champaigne of Brussels (1602-1674), who settled in Paris at nineteen
years of age, and may fairly be classed among the French school. His
intimate association with the austere and pious Jansenists of Port Royal
is traceable in the Last Supper (No. 1928), and in his masterpiece, the
portraits of Mother Catherine Agnes Arnauld and his own daughter, Sister
Catherine (No. 1934), painted for the famous convent. He is perhaps
better known for his portraits of Richelieu. Claude Lorrain (1600-1682),
the best known and most appreciated of the seventeenth-century masters,
and the greatest of the early landscape painters, is seen in sixteen



[Illustration: A SEAPORT.


Rarely has the numbing and corrupting influence of royal patronage of
art been more clearly demonstrated than in the group of painters who
interpreted the hollow state, the sensuality and the more pleasant vices
of the courts of Louis XIV., of the Regency, and of Louis XV. But
among them, yet not of them, Watteau (1641-1721) stands alone--Watteau
the melancholy youth from French Flanders, who invented a new manner of
painting, and became known as the _Peintre des Scènes Galantes_. These
scenes of coquetry, frivolity and amorous dalliance, with their patched,
powdered and scented ladies and gallants, toying with life in a land
where, like that of the Lotus Eaters, it seems always afternoon, he
clothes with a refined and delicate vesture of grace and fascination. He
has a poetic touch for landscape and a tender, pathetic sense of the
tears in mortal things which make him akin to Virgil in literature, for
over the languorous and swooning air and sun-steeped glades the coming
tempest lours. His success, as Walter Pater suggests, in painting these
vain and perishable graces of the drawing-room and garden comedy of life
with the delicate odour of decay which rises from the soil, was probably
due to the fact that he despised them. The whole age of the Revolution
lies between these irresponsible and gay courtiers in the _scènes
galantes_ of Watteau and the virile peasant scenes in the "epic of toil"
painted by Millet. Among the dozen paintings by Watteau in the Louvre
may be especially noted his Academy picture, the Embarkation for Cythera
(No. 982). His pupils, Pater and Lancret, imitated his style, but were
unable to soar to the higher plane of their master's idealising spirit.

The eminent portrait painter, Rigaud (1659-1743), whose admirable Louis
XIV. (No. 781) has been called "a page of history," is represented by
fifteen works, among them his masterpiece, the portrait of Bossuet (No.
783). A page of history too is the flaunting sensuality of Boucher
(1703-1770) and of Fragonard (1732-1806), who lavished facile talents
and ignoble industry in the service of the depraved boudoir tastes of
the Pompadours and Du Barrys that ruled at Versailles. Productions of
these artists in the Louvre are numerous and important. A somewhat
feeble protest against the prevailing vulgarity and debasement of
contemporary art was made by Chardin (1699-1779) and by the
super-sentimental Greuze (1725-1805) in their portrayal of scenes of
simple domestic life, of which many examples may be noted in the Louvre.

But from the studio of Boucher there issued towards the end of the
century the virile and revolutionary figure of David (1748-1825), who
burst like a thunderstorm from the corrupt artistic atmosphere of the
age, sweetening and bracing French art for half a century. The
successive phases of this somewhat theatrical but potent genius may be
followed in the Louvre from the Horatii (No. 189) and the Brutus (No.
191)--the revolutionary flavour of which saved the painter's life during
the Terror--to the later glorifications of Napoleonic splendours. The
candelabrum in David's best-known work, the portrait of Madame Récamier,
is said to have been painted by his pupil Ingres (1780-1867), a
commanding personality of the _post_-revolutionary epoch. To him and to
his master is due the tradition of correct and honest drawing which ever
since has characterised the modern French school of painting. Besides La
Source, the most famous figure drawing of the school, the Louvre
possesses many of his portraits and subject paintings. To appreciate
duly the artist's power, however, the drawings in the Salle des desseins
d'Ingres should be studied. No master has evoked more reverence and
admiration among students. More than once Professor Legros has told the
writer of the thrill of emotion that passed through him and all his
fellow-students when they saw the aged master enter the Ecole des Beaux
Arts at Paris. Flandrin, the chief religious painter of the school, is
poorly represented in the Louvre, and must be studied in the churches of
St. Germain des Prés and St. Vincent de Paul.



A two-fold study of absorbing interest to the artistic mind may be
prosecuted in the Louvre--the development of the modern Romantic school
of French painters from Gericault's famous Raft of the Medusa, painted
in 1819, through the works of Delacroix and Delaroche; and the
revival of landscape painting, under the stimulus of the English artists
Bonnington and Constable, by Rousseau (1812-1867), the all-father of the
modern French landscape school, and the little band of enthusiasts that
grouped themselves around him at Barbizon. Corot, Daubigny, Diaz, Troyon
and the grand and solemn Millet, once despised and rejected of men, have
now won fame and appreciation. No princely patronage shone upon them nor
smoothed their path; they wrought out the beauty of their souls under
the hard discipline of poverty and in loving and awful communion with
nature. They have revealed to the modern world new tones of colour in
the air and the forest and the plain, and a new sense of the pathos and
beauty in simple lives and common things.

The artistic treasures we have thus briefly and summarily reviewed form
but a part of the inestimable possessions of the Louvre. Collections of
drawings; ivories; reliquaries and sanctuary vessels; pottery;
jewellery; furniture (among which is the famous _bureau du roi_, the
most wonderful piece of cabinet work in Europe); bronzes; Greek,
Egyptian, Assyrian, Chaldean and Persian antiquities (including the
unique and magnificent frieze of the archers from the palace of Darius
I.), all are crowded with objects of interest and beauty, even to the
inexpert visitor.

Of the gorgeous palace of the Tuileries, with its inharmonious but
picturesque façade, stretching across the western limit of the Louvre
from the Pavilion de Flore to the Pavilion de Marsan, not one stone is
left on another. We remember it after its fiery purgation by the Commune
in 1871, a gaunt shell blackened and ruined, fitting emblem of the wreck
which the enthroned wantonness and corruption of the Second Empire had
made of France.

[Illustration: GRACE BEFORE MEAT.


[Illustration: MADAME RECAMIER.


North of the Louvre is the Palais Royal, once the gayest, now the
dullest scene in Paris. This quarter of Richelieu and of Mazarin drew to
itself the wealth and fashion of the city in its migration westward from
the Marais during the times of Louis XIII. and of the Regency of Anne
of Austria. Nearly all the princely hotels that crowded the district
have long since given place to commercial houses and shops. The mansions
of the two great ministers remain as the Conseil d'Etat and the
Bibliothèque Nationale, but all that is left of the immense Hôtel de
Colbert in the Rue Vivienne is a name--the Passage Colbert. The same is
true of the vast area of lands and buildings of the convent of the
Filles de St. Thomas, of which the present Bourse and the Place before
it only occupy a part. At the corner, however, of the Rue des Petits
Champs and St. Anne the fine double façade of the Hôtel erected by Lulli
with money borrowed from Molière may be seen, bearing the great
musician's coat-of-arms--a design of trumpets, lyres and cymbals.
Further west, Napoleon's Rues de Castiglione and de la Paix, the Regent
Street of Paris, run south and north from the Place Vendôme, intended by
its creator Louvois to be the most spacious in the city. A monumental
parallelogram of public offices was to enclose the Place, but Versailles
engulfed the king's resources and the ambitious scheme was whittled
down, the area much reduced, and the site and foundations of the new
buildings were handed over to the Ville. What the Allies failed to do in
1814 the Commune succeeded in doing in 1871, and the boastful Column of
Vendôme, a pitiful plagiarism of Trajan's Column at Rome, was laid in
the dust, only however to be raised again by the Third Republic in 1875.
The Rue Castiglione leads down to the Terrace of the Feuillants
overlooking the Tuileries gardens, all that is left of the famous
monastery and grounds where Lafayette's club of constitutional reformers
met. The beautiful gardens remain much as Le Notre designed them for
Louis XIV., and every spring the orange trees, some of them dating back
it is said to the time of Francis I., are brought forth from the
orangery to adorn the central avenue, and the gardens become vocal with
many voices of children at their games--French children with their
gentle humour and sweet, refined play. Right and left of the
central avenue, the two marble exhedræ may still be seen which were
erected in 1793 for the elders who presided over the floral celebrations
of the month of Germinal by the children of the Republic.

The Place Louis XV (now de la Concorde), with its setting of pavilions
adorned with groups of statuary representing the chief cities of France,
was created by Gabriel in 1763-1772 on the site of a dreary, marshy
waste used as a depot for marble. The Place was adorned in 1763 with an
equestrian statue of Louis XV., elevated on a pedestal which was
decorated at the corners by statues of the cardinal virtues. Mordant
couplets, two of which we transcribe, affixed on the base, soon
expressed the judgment of the Parisians:--

    "_O la belle statue! O le beau piédestal!_
     _Les vertus sont à pied, le vice est à cheval._"[174]

    "_Il est ici come à Versailles_
     _Il est sans coeur et sans entrailles._"[175]

After the fall of the monarchy the Place was known as the Place de la
Revolution, and in 1792, Louis XV. with the other royal simulacra in
bronze having been forged into the cannon that thundered against the
allied kings of Europe, a plaster statue of Liberty was erected, at
whose side the guillotine mowed down king and queen, revolutionist and
aristocrat in one bloody harvest of death, ensanguining the very figure
of the goddess herself, who looked on with cold and impassive mien. She
too fell, and in her place stood a _fascis_ of eighty-three spears,
symbolising the unity of the eighty-three departments of France. In 1795
the Directory changed the name to Place de la Concorde, and again in
1799 a seated statue of Liberty holding a globe was set up. In the
hollow globe a pair of wild doves built their nest--a futile augury, for
in 1801 Liberty II. was broken in pieces, and the model for a tall
granite column erected in its place by Napoleon I. One year passed and
this too disappeared. After the Restoration, among the other inanities
came, in 1816, a second statue of Louis XV., and the Place resumed its
original name. Ten years later an expiatory monument to Louis XVI. was
begun, only to be swept away with other Bourbon lumber by the July
Revolution of 1830. At length the famous obelisk from Luxor, after many
vicissitudes, was elevated in 1836 where it now stands.

[Illustration: LANDSCAPE.


The Place as we behold it dates from 1854, when the deep fosses which
surrounded it in Louis XV.'s time, and which were responsible for the
terrible disaster that attended the wedding festivities of Louis XVI.
and Marie Antoinette, were filled up, and other improvements and
embellishments effected. The vast space and magnificent vistas enjoyed
from this square are among the finest urban spectacles in Europe. To the
north, on either side of the broad Rue Royale which opens to the
Madeleine, stand Gabriel's fine edifices (now the Ministry of Marine and
the Cercle de la Rue Royale), designed to accommodate foreign
ambassadors. To the south is the Palais Bourbon, now the Chamber of
Deputies; to the east are the gardens of the Tuileries, and to the west
is the stately Grande Avenue of the Champs Elysées rising to the
colossal Arch of Triumph crowning the eminence of the Place de l'Etoile.
As our eyes travel along the famous avenue, memories of the military
glories and of the threefold humiliation of Imperial France crowd upon
us. For down its ample way there marched in 1814 and 1815 two hostile
and conquering armies to occupy Paris, and in 1871 the immense vault of
the Arc de Triomphe, an arch of greater magnitude than any raised to
Roman Cæsars, echoed to the shouts of another exultant foreign host,
mocking as they strode beneath it at the names of German defeats
inscribed on its stones. And on the very Place de la Concorde, German
hussars waltzed in pairs to the brazen music of a Uhlan band, while a
line of French sentries across the entrance to the Tuileries gardens
gazed sullenly on.

To the south of the Champs Elysées is the Cours de la Reine, planted by
Catherine de' Medici, for two years the most fashionable carriage drive
in Paris. The charming Maison François I. brought from Moret, stone by
stone, in 1826 stands re-erected at the further corner of the Cours. To
the north, in the Cours de Gabriel, a fine gilded grille, surmounted
with the arms of the Republic, gives access to the Elysée, the official
residence of the President. It was once Madame Pompadour's favourite
house in Paris, and the piece of land she appropriated from the public
to round off her gardens is still retained in its grounds. In the Avenue
Montaigne (once the Allée des Veuves, a retired walk used by widows
during their term of seclusion) Nos. 51 and 53 stand on the site of the
notorious Bal Mabille,[176] the temple of the bacchanalia of the gay
world of the Second Empire. In 1764 the Champs Elysées ended at
Chaillot, an old feudal property which Louis XI. gave to Phillipe de
Comines in 1450, and which in 1651 sheltered the unhappy widow of
Charles I. Here Catherine de' Medici built a château, but château and a
nunnery of the Filles de Sainte Marie, founded by the English queen,
disappeared in 1790. As we descend the Rue de Chaillot and pass the
Trocadero we see across the Pont de Jéna the gilded dome of the
Invalides and the vast field of Mars, the scene of the Feast of Pikes,
and now encumbered by the relics of four World's Fairs.



The Paris we have rapidly surveyed is, mainly, enclosed by the inner
boulevards, which correspond to the ramparts of Louis XIII. on the north
demolished by his successor between 1676 and 1707, and the line of the
Philip Augustus wall and the Boulevard St. Germain on the south. Beyond
this historic area are the outer boulevards which mark the octroi wall
of Louis XVI.; further yet are the Thiers wall and fortifications of
1841. Within these wider boundaries is the greater Paris of the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries, of profound concern to the
economical and social student, but of minor interest to the ordinary
traveller. The vogue of the brilliant and gay inner boulevards of the
north bank so familiar to the foreigner in Paris is of comparatively
recent growth. In the early nineteenth century the boulevard from the
Place de la Madeleine to the Rue Cambon was almost deserted by day and
dangerous by night--a vast waste, the proceeds of the confiscated lands
of the Filles de la Conception. About the same time the fashionable
cafés were migrating from the Palais Royal to the Boulevard des
Italiens, south of which was built the Theatre of the Comédie Italienne,
afterwards known as the Opéra Comique. Its façade was turned away from
the boulevard lest the susceptible artists should be confounded with the
ordinary "comediens of the boulevard." From the Boulevard Montmartre to
the Boulevard St. Martin followed lines of private hotels, villas,
gardens and convent walls. A great mound which separated the Boulevard
St. Martin from the Boulevard du Temple still existed, and was not
cleared away until 1853. From 1760 to 1862 the Boulevard du Temple was a
centre of pleasure and amusement, where charming suburban houses and
pretty gardens alternated with cheap restaurants, hotels, theatres,
cafés, marionette shows, circuses, tight-rope dancers, waxworks, and
cafés-chantants. In 1835, so lurid were the dramas played there, that
the boulevard was popularly known as the _Boulevard du Crime_. But the
expression of the dramatic and musical genius and social life of the
Parisians in their higher forms is of sufficient importance to merit a
concluding chapter.



As early as 1341 the Rue des Jongleurs was inhabited by minstrels, mimes
and players. They were men of tender heart, for in 1331 two jongleurs,
Giacomo of Pistoia and Hugues of Lorraine, were touched by beholding a
paralysed woman forsaken by the way, and determined to found a refuge
for the sick poor: they hired a room and furnished it with some beds,
but being unable to provide funds for maintenance, their warden
collected alms from the charitable. In 1332, at a meeting of the
Jongleurs of Paris, Giacomo and Hugues were present, and urged the
claims of the poor upon their fellows. The players decided to found a
guild with a hospital and church dedicated to St. Julian of the
Minstrels,[177] but the Bishop of Paris, doubting their financial
powers, required a certain sum to be paid within four years, in order to
endow a chaplaincy and to compensate the _curé_ of St. Merri. The
players more than fulfilled their promise; their capitulary was
confirmed by pope and king, and in 1343 they elected William the Flute
Player and Henry of Mondidier as administrators; the servants of the
Muses were therefore of no small importance in the fourteenth century.
As early as 1398 the Confraternity of the Passion is known to have
existed, and so charmed the people of Paris by its Passion Plays that
the hour of vespers was advanced to allow the faithful time to attend
the representations, which lasted from 1.30 to 5 o'clock without any
interval. In 1548 the Confraternity was performing at the Hôtel de
Bourgogne, the old mansion of Jean Sans Peur, for it was then forbidden
to play the mystery of the Passion any more, and limited to profane,
decent and lawful pieces, which were not to begin before 3 o'clock. From
1566 to 1676 the Comedians of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, as they were then
called, continued their performances, and many ordinances were needed to
purify the stage, to prevent licentious pieces and the use of words of
_double entente_. Competitive companies performed at the Hôtel de Cluny,
and in the Rue Michel le Comte, in those days a narrow street which
became so blocked by carriages and horses during the performances that
the inhabitants complained of being unable to reach their houses, and of
suffering much from thieves and footpads. It was at the Hôtel de
Bourgogne that the masterpieces of Corneille and Racine--_Le Cid_,
_Andromaque_ and _Phèdre_--were first performed.

[Illustration: THE POND.



At No. 12 Rue Mazarine an inscription marks the site of the Tennis Court
of the Métayers near the fosses of the old Porte de Nesle, where in 1643
a cultured young fellow, Jean Baptiste Poquelin, better known as
Molière, son of a prosperous tradesman of Paris, having associated
himself with the Béjart family of comedians, opened the _Illustre
Théâtre_. The venture met with small success, for soon Molière crossed
the Seine and migrated to the Port St. Paul. Thence he returned to the
Faubourg St. Germain and rented the Tennis Court of the Croix Blanche.
Ill fortune still followed him, for in 1645, unable to pay his
candlemaker, the illustrious player saw the inside of the debtors'
prison at the Petit Châtelet, and the company must needs borrow money to
release their director. In 1646 the players left for the Provinces and
were not seen again in Paris for twelve years.

The theatre of those days was innocent of stage upholstery, the exiguous
decorations being confined to some hangings of faded tapestry on the
stage and a few tallow candles with tin reflectors. A chandelier holding
four candles hung from the roof and was periodically lowered and drawn
up again during the performance; any spectator near by snuffed the
candles with his fingers. The orchestra consisted of a flute and a drum,
or two violins. The play began at two o'clock; the charges for entrance
were twopence half-penny for a standing place in the pit, fivepence for
a seat. On 24th October 1658 Molière, having won distinguished
patronage, was honoured by a royal command to play Corneille's
_Nicodème_ before the court at the Louvre. After the play was ended
Molière prayed to be allowed to perform a little piece of his own--_Le
Docteur Amoureux_--and so much amused Louis XIV. that the players were
commanded to settle at Paris and permitted to use the theatre of the
Hôtel de Bourbon three days a week in alternation with the comedians of
the opera. Here it was that the first essentially French comedy, _Les
Précieuses Ridicules_, was performed with such success that after the
second performance the prices were doubled. During the first performance
an old playgoer is said to have risen and exclaimed, "_Courage! Molière,
voilà de la bonne comédie!_"

After the demolition of the Hôtel de Bourbon, the players were settled
in Richelieu's theatre at the Palais Royal, where they performed for the
first time on 20th January 1661. During this period of transition
Molière was again invited to play before the king in the Salle des
Gardes (Caryatides) at the Louvre, and so keen was the interest in the
new _bonne comédie_ that the almost dying Mazarin had his chair dragged
into the hall that he might be present.

In 1665 the king appointed Molière _valet du roi_ at a salary of a
thousand livres, subsidised the company to the amount of seven thousand
livres a year, and they were thenceforth known as the "Troupe du Roi."
Free from pecuniary anxiety, the great dramatist wrote his masterpieces,
_Le Misanthrope_, _Tartuffe_, _L'Avare_, _Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme_, and
_Les Femmes Savantes_.




In 1673, after Molière's death, the Troupe du Roi joined the players of
the Marais and rented the famous Théâtre Guénégaud in the old Tennis
Court of La Bouteille which had been fitted up for the first
performances of French opera in 1671-1672. The united companies played
there until 1680, when the long-standing jealousy which had existed
between the Troupe du Roi and the players of the Hôtel de Bourgogne was
finally dissipated by the fusion of the two companies to form the
Comédie Française. For nine years the famous Comédie used the Théâtre
Guénégaud, whose site may be seen marked with an inscription at 42 Rue
Mazarine. In 1689 the players were evicted from the Théâtre Guénégaud,
owing to the machinations of the Jansenists at the Collége Mazarin, and
rented the Tennis Court de l'Etoile near the Boulevard St. Germain, now
No. 14 Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie, which they opened on 18th April
1689 by a performance of _Phèdre_ and _Le Médecin malgré lui_. Here the
Comédie Française remained until 1770. In 1781 they were playing at the
Théâtre de la Nation (now Odéon.)[178] In 1787 a theatre was built in
the Rue Richelieu for the _Variétés Amusantes_, or the _Palais
Variétés_, where the new Théâtre Français[179] now stands, a little to
the west of Richelieu's theatre of the Palais Cardinal, whose site is
indicated by an inscription at the corner of the Rues de Valois and St.

Soon the passions evoked by the Revolutionary movement were felt on the
boards, and the staid old Comédie Française was rent by rival factions.
The performance of Chenier's patriotic tragedy, _Charles IX._, on 4th
November 1789, was made a political demonstration, and the pit acclaimed
Talma with frantic applause as he created the _rôle_ of Charles IX., and
the days of St. Bartholomew were acted on the stage. The bishops tried
to stop the performances, and priests refused absolution to those of
their penitents who went to see them. The Royalists among the Comedians
replied by playing a loyalist repertory, _Cinna_ and _Athalie_, amid
shouts from the pit for _William Tell_ and the _Death of Cæsar_, and
Molière's famous house became an arena where political factions strove
for mastery. Men went to the theatre armed as to a battle. Every couplet
fired the passions of the audience, the boxes crying, "_Vive le roi!_"
to be answered by the hoarse voices of the pit, "_Vive la nation!_"
Shouts were raised for the busts of Voltaire and of Brutus: they were
brought from the foyer and placed on the stage. The very kings of shreds
and patches on the boards came to blows and the Roman toga concealed a
poignard. For a time "idolatry" triumphed at the Nation, but Talma and
the patriots at length won. A reconciliation was effected, and at a
performance of the _Taking of the Bastille_, on 8th January 1791, Talma
addressed the audience saying that they had composed their differences.
Naudet, the Royalist champion, was recalcitrant, and amid furious shouts
from the pit, "On your knees, citizen!" at length gave way, embraced
Talma with ill-grace, and on the ensuing nights the Revolutionary
repertory, _The Conquest of Liberty_, _Rome Saved_, and _Brutus_ held
the boards. The court took their revenge at the opera where the boxes
called for the airs, "O Richard, O mon roi," and "Règne sur un peuple
fidèle," while the king, queen and dauphin appeared in the box amid
shouts of "_Vive le roi!_" On 13th January of the same year the
restrictions on the opening of playhouses were revoked, and by November
no less than seventy-eight theatres were registered on the books of the
Hôtel de Ville. The Théâtre Français became the Théâtre de la
Republique, and during the early months of '93, when the fate of the
monarchy hung in the balance, the most popular piece was _Catherine_, or
_The Farmer's Fair Wife_ (_La belle Fermière_). _Fénelon_, a new
tragedy, was often played, and on 6th February citizen Talma acted
Othello for his benefit performance.

In the stormy year of 1830, when the July Revolution made an end for
ever of the Bourbon cause in France, the Comédie Française was again a
scene of fierce and bitter strife. _Hernani_, a drama in verse, had been
accepted from the pen of Victor Hugo, the brilliant and exuberant master
of a new Romantic school of poets, who had determined to emancipate
themselves from the traditions, which had long since hardened into
literary dogmas, of the Classical school of the siècle de Louis
Quatorze. On the night of the first performance each side, Romanticists
and Classicists, had packed the theatre with their partisans, and the
air was charged with feeling. The curtain rose, but less than two lines
were uttered before the pent-up passions of the audience burst forth:--

    "DONA JOSEFA--'Serait-ce déjà lui? C'est bien à l'escalier

[Illustration: THE TROCADERO.]

The last word had not passed the actress's lips when a howl of
execration rose from the devotees of Racine, outraged by the author's
heresy in permitting an adjective to stray into the second line of the
verse. The Romanticists, led by Théophile Gautier, answered in withering
blasphemies, and soon the pit became a pandemonium of warring factions.
Night after night the literary sects renewed their contests, and the
representations, as Victor Hugo said, became battles rather than
performances. The year 1830 was the '93 of the Romantic school, but the
passions it evoked have long since been calmed, and _Hernani_ and _Le
Roi s'Amuse_, which latter was suppressed by the Government of Louis
Philippe after the first performance, have taken their place in the
classic repertory of the Théâtre Français beside the tragedies of Racine
and Corneille.

A curious development of dramatic art runs parallel to the movement we
have traced. One of the earliest Corporations of Paris was that of the
famous Basoche,[180] or law-clerks and practitioners, at the Palais de
Justice, who were organised in a little realm of their own, subject to
the superior power of the Parlement. The Basoche had its own king (_roi
de la Basoche_), chancellor, masters, almoners, secretaries, treasurers
and a number of minor officials, made its own laws and punished
offenders. It had its own money, seal, and arms composed of an
escritoire on a field _fleur-de-lisé_, surmounted by a casque and
morion. It had, moreover, jurisdiction over the _farces_, _sottises_ and
_moralités_ played by its members before the public. The clerks of the
Basoche organised processions and plays for public festivals, and were
compensated for out-of-pocket expenses if for any reason the
celebrations were cancelled by the Parlement. If the date, 6th January
1482, of one of these performances in the Grande Salle of the Palais de
Justice, so vividly described by Victor Hugo in _Notre Dame_, be
correct, the prohibition by the Parlement in 1477, renewed in 1478, of
any performances of _farce_, _sottise_, or _moralité_ by the king of the
Basoche in the Palais or the Châtelet, or elsewhere in public, under
pain of a whipping with withies and banishment, must have been soon
withdrawn. In 1538 the Basoche was ordered to deliver to the Parlement
any plays they proposed to perform, that they might be examined and
emended (_visités et reformés_) and to act in public, only such plays as
had been approved by the court.

The clerks of the Basoche were clothed in yellow and blue taffety, and,
on extraordinary occasions, in gorgeous costumes varying according to
the company to which they belonged. Each captain had the form and style
of his company's dress painted on vellum, and whoso desired to join
signed his name beneath, and agreed to be subject to a fine of ten
crowns if he made default. In 1528 a famous trial took place before the
Parlement on the occasion of an appeal by one of the clerks against the
chancellor of the Basoche, who had seized his cloak in payment of a fine
and costs. After many pleadings by celebrated lawyers, the case was
referred back to the king of the Basoche, with instructions that he was
to treat his subjects amiably.

The treasurers of the Basoche were charged with the cost of the annual
planting of the May tree in the Cour du Mai of the Palais. Towards the
end of May the procession of the Basoche wended its way to the Forest of
Bondy, where halt was made under the _Orme aux harangues_ (elm of the
speeches). Here their procureur made an oration, and demanded from the
officer of woods and forests two trees of his own choice in the king's
name, which were carried to Paris amid much playing of drums and fifes
and trumpets. On the last Saturday in May the ceremony of the planting
took place in the court of the palace, the preceding year's tree,
standing to the right of the entrance, was felled and removed, and the
more flourishing of the two brought from the forest was planted in its

Anne of Austria, to whom Molière dedicated one of his plays, was so
devoted an admirer of the theatre that even during the period of court
mourning for her royal husband she was unable to renounce her favourite
pleasure and witnessed the plays at the Palais Royal concealed behind
her ladies. Mazarin, courtier that he was, flattered her passion for the
drama by introducing a company of Italian opera-singers, who in 1647
performed _La Finta Pazza_ at the Hôtel de Bourbon.

The new entertainment met with instant success, and the French were
spurred to emulation by the music and voices of the foreign performers.
Anne's music masters, Lambert and Cambert, set to music a piece written
by the Abbé Perrin, who was attached to the court of the Duke of
Orleans, and this musical comedy was performed with brilliant success
before the young king at Vincennes. Encouraged by Mazarin, Perrin and
Cambert joined the Marquis of Sourdeac, a clever mechanician, and
obtained permission in 1669 to open an Academy of Music, for so the new
venture was called, and works were performed which vied in attraction
with those of the Italians. Perrin now obtained the sole privilege of
producing operas in Paris and other French towns, and in 1671-1672 we
find the _entrepreneurs_ giving performances of _Pomone_ among other
"_Comédies Françaises en Musique_" in the theatre of the Hôtel de
Guénégaud. Perrin having disagreed with his partners, the privilege of
performing opera was next transferred to a young Italian musician named
Lulli, who had entered the service of Mademoiselle (daughter of the Duke
of Orleans) as a kitchen boy, but having developed an extraordinary
aptitude for the violin was put under a master, and became one of the
greatest performers of the day. He entered the king's service, won the
protection of Madame de Montespan, and so charmed Louis by his talents
that his fortune was assured. Lulli's works were first given at the
Tennis Court of Bel-air, in the Rue Vaugirard, and a clause having been
inserted in the charter permitting the nobles of the court to take part
in the representations without derogation, a performance of _Love and
Bacchus_ was given before the king in which the Duke of Monmouth was
associated with seven French nobles.

When Molière's company of comedians left the theatre of the Palais Royal
in 1673, Lulli's "Academy" was established in their place, and the
Palais Royal Theatre became the Royal Opera House until 1787, with an
interval caused by the rebuilding after the fire of 1763. In 1697 the
Italians were forbidden to perform any more in Paris, and French opera
enjoyed a monopoly of royal favour, until the Regent recalled the
Italians in 1716.

The Académie de Musique, or French Opera, subsequently migrated to the
Salle d'Opéra, at the Hôtel Louvois, on the site of the present Square
Louvois. It was in this house that the Duke of Berri was assassinated in
1820. The Government decreed the demolition of the building, and an
opera house was hurriedly erected in the Rue Lepelletier. This
inconvenient, stuffy Hall of the Muses, so familiar to the older
generation of opera-goers, was at length superseded by the present
luxurious temple in 1874.

[Illustration: ARC DE TRIOMPHE.]

The early French operas were of the nature of elaborate ballets, based
invariably on mythological subjects, and, indeed, the ballet up to
recent times, when the reforming influence of Wagner's music-dramas made
itself felt, has always formed the more important part of every operatic
performance. Only when the curtain rose on the _scènes de ballet_ did
chatter cease, for as Taine remarked, "_Le public ne se trouve
émoustillé que par le ballet_" ("The public only brightens up at the
ballet"), and the traditional habit of Society was expressed in the
formula, "_On n'écoute que le ballet_" ("One only listens to the
ballet"). Molière wrote a tragédie-ballet, a pastorale heroique, a
pastorale comique, and eight comédies-ballets, in one of which, _Le
Sicilian_, the king himself, the Marquis of Villeroi and other courtiers
performed with Molière and his daughter. In 1681 the permission already
given to the princes and other nobles to take part in the ballets
without derogation was extended to the ladies of the court, who in
that year performed the _Triomphe de l'Amour_. The innovation proved
most successful, and soon affected the public stage, where, as at the
court, up to that period male performers alone were tolerated. Mdlle. de
la Fontaine was the first of the famous _danseuses_ of the Paris opera,
and her portrait, with those of some score of her successors, still
adorn the _foyer de la danse_. The opera was a social rather than a
musical function, and the old _foyer_, until the fall of the Second
Empire, was the favourite meeting-place during the season of royal and
distinguished personages, courtiers, ministers, ambassadors, and,
indeed, of all French society of the male persuasion. Such was the
passion for the opera during the reign of Louis XVI. that fashionable
devotees would journey from Brussels to Paris in time to see the curtain
rise and return to Brussels when the performance was over, travelling
all night.

       *       *       *       *       *

"In fair weather or foul," says Diderot in the opening lines of the
_Neveu de Rameau_ "it is my custom, towards five in the evening, to
stroll about the Palais Royal, where I muse silently on politics, love,
taste or philosophy. If the weather be too cold or wet, I take refuge in
the Café de la Régence, and there I amuse myself by watching the chess
players; for Paris is the one place in the world, and the Café de la
Régence the one place in Paris, where chess is played perfectly." The
Café Procope and the Régence have been termed the Adam and Eve of the
cafés of Paris. The former was the first coffee-house seen there, and
was opened by one Gregory of Aleppo and a Sicilian, Procopio by name,
shortly before the Comédie Française was transferred in 1689 to its new
house in the present Rue de l'Ancienne Comédie. The famous café, where,
too, ices were first sold, was situated opposite the theatre, and at
once became a kind of ante-chamber to the Comédie, crowded with actors
and dramatic authors, among whom were seen Voltaire, Crébillon and

The Café de la Place du Palais Royal, the original apellation of the
Régence, was founded shortly after the Procope, and became the favourite
haunt of literary men, and especially of chess-players. Here the author
of _Gil Blas_ beheld, in a vast salon brilliant with lustres and
mirrors, a score of silent and grave personages, _pousseurs de bois_
(wood-shovers), playing at chess on marble tables, surrounded by others
watching the games, amid a silence so profound that the movement of the
pieces could alone be heard. If, however, we may credit a description of
the famous hall of the chequer-board published in _Fraser's Magazine_,
December 1840, the tempers of the players must have suffered a
distressing deterioration since the times of Le Sage, for when the
author of the article entered the café, in the winter of 1839, his ears
were assailed by a "roar like that of the Regent's Park beast show at
feeding-time." So great was the renown of the Parisian players that
strangers from the four corners of the earth--Poles, Turks, Moors and
Hindoos--made journeys to the Café de la Régence as to an arena where
victory was esteemed final and complete. Not even on the Rialto of
Venice, says the writer in _Fraser's_, in its most famous time, could so
great a mixture of garbs and tongues be met. Here, among other literary
monarchs who visited the café, came Voltaire and D'Alembert. Jean
Jacques Rousseau, dressed as an Armenian, drew such crowds that the
proprietor was forced to appeal for police protection, and the eccentric
philosopher, while absorbed in play, was furtively sketched by St.
Aubin. Here came, _incogniti_, the Emperor Joseph of Austria, brother of
Marie Antoinette, and Emperor Paul of Russia, the latter betraying his
imperial quality by tossing to the waiter a golden louis he had won by
betting on a game. The café was the favourite resort of Robespierre, a
devoted chess-player, who lived close by in the Rue St. Honoré (No.
398), and of the young Napoleon Bonaparte when waiting on fortune in
Paris. The latter is said to have been a rough, impatient player, and a
bad loser. Hats were kept on to economise space, and on a winter Sunday
afternoon a chair was worth a monarch's ransom: when a champion player
entered, hats were raised, and fifty challengers leapt from their seats
to offer a game. So proud was the proprietor of the distinction
conferred on his café, that long after Rousseau's and Voltaire's deaths
he would call to the waiter, "Serve Jean Jacques!" "Look to Voltaire!"
if any customers sat down at the tables where the famous philosophers
had been wont to sit. While the big game of political chess was being
enacted in the streets of Paris during the three days of July 1830, the
players of the café are said to have calmly pushed their wooden pieces
undisturbed by the fighting outside, during which the front of the
building was injured. The original café no longer exists, for in 1852
the Régence was removed from the Place du Palais Royal to the Rue St.
Honoré. Last year the writer was startled by an amazing exuviation of
the somewhat faded café, which had assumed a new decoration of most
brilliant and approved modernity; it now vies in splendour with the
cafes of the Boulevards. A few chess-players still linger on and are
relegated to a recessed room.

Shortly after the foundation of the Régence another café was opened by
Widow Marion on the old Carrefour de l'Opéra, where the Academicians
gathered and discussed of matters affecting the French language. At
Guadot's, on the Place de l'Ecole, was heard the clank of spur and
sabre. Soon every phase of Parisian social life found its appropriate
coffee-house, and by the end of the eighteenth century some nine hundred
cafés were established in the city.

But this new development was regarded with small favour by the
Government, always suspicious of any form of social and intellectual
activity. Politics were forbidden, and spies haunted the precincts of
the chief cafés. Ill fared the man, however distinguished, whose
political feelings overmastered his prudence, for an invidious phrase
was not infrequently the password to the Bastille. It was difficult even
to discuss philosophy, and the lovers of wisdom who met at Procope's
were reduced to inventing a jargon for its principal terms--Monsieur
l'Etre for God, Javotte for Religion and Margot for the Soul--to put
spies off the scent, not always with success. No newspapers were
provided until the Revolutionary time, when the _Gazette_ or the
_Journal_ became more important than the coffee: the cafés of the Palais
Royal were then transformed into so many political clubs, where every
table served as a rostrum of fiery declamation, for the agitated and
eventful summer of 1789 was a rainy one, to the good fortune of the
Palais Royal houses. No. 46 Rue Richelieu stands on the site of the Café
de Foy, the senior and most famous of them, founded in 1700. It extended
through to the gardens of the Palais Royal, and in early times its
proprietor was the only one permitted to place chairs and tables on the
terrace. There, in the afternoon, would sit the finely-apparelled sons
of Mars, and other gay dogs of the period, with their scented perukes,
amber vinaigrettes, silver-hilted swords and gold-headed canes, quizzing
the passers-by. In summer evenings, after the conclusion of the opera at
8.30., the _bonne compagnie_ in full dress would stroll under the great
overarching trees of the _grand allée_, or sit at the cafés listening to
open-air performers, sometimes remaining on moonlight nights as late as
2 a.m. Between 1770 and 1780 the favourite promenade was the scene of
violent conflicts between the partisans of Gluck and Piccini, and many a
duel was recorded between the champions of the rival musical factions.


It was from one of the tables of the Café Foy that Camille Desmoulins
sounded the war-cry of the Revolution. Every day a special courier from
Versailles brought the bulletins of the National Assembly, which were
read publicly amid clamorous interjections. Spies found their office a
perilous one, for, if discovered, they were ducked in the basins of the
fountains, and, when feeling grew more bitter, risked meeting a violent
death. Later the Café Foy made a complete _volte-face_, raised its ices
to twenty sous and grew Royalist in tone. Its frequenters came armed
with sword-sticks and loaded canes, raised their hats when the king's
name was uttered, and one evil day planted a gallows outside the
café, painted with the national colours. The excited patriots stormed
the house, expelled the Royalists and disinfected the salon with gin.
During the occupation of Paris by the allies many a fatal duel between
the foreign officers and the Imperialists was initiated there. Later,
Horace Vernet painted a swallow on the ceiling, which attracted many
visitors; the dramatists and artists of the Théâtre Français freely
patronised the house, and among them might be often seen the huge figure
of the most prodigious master of modern romantic fiction, Alexandre

The extremer section of the Revolutionists frequented the Café Corazza,
still extant, which soon became a minor Jacobins, where, after the club
was closed, the excited orators continued their discussions: Chabot,
Collot d'Herbois and other terrorists met there. The Café Valois was
patronised by the Feuillants, and so excited the ire of the Fédérés, who
met at the Caveau, that one day they issued forth, assailed their
opponents' stronghold and burned the copies of the _Journal de Paris_
found there. The old Café Procope in the south of Paris became the Café
Zoppi, where the "zealous children of triumphant Liberty" assembled, and
where the "Friends of the Revolution and of Humanity," on the news of
Franklin's death, covered the lustres with crape and affixed his bust,
crowned with oak leaves, outside the door. A legend told of the great
American's death, and the words "_vir Deus_" were inscribed beneath the
bust. Every day at five o'clock the _habitués_ formed themselves into a
club in the salon decorated with statues of Mucius Scevola and Mirabeau,
passed resolutions, sent protesting deputations to Royalist editors, and
every evening made _autos da fé_ of their publications outside the café.
When war was declared they subscribed to purchase a case of muskets as
an offering to the Fatherland. Self-regarding citizens, the _Société des
Amis de la Loi_, who desired to eat and drink in peace far from
political storms, met in the Café de Flore, near the Porte St. Denis,
until the Jacobins applied the scriptural maxim--He who is not for us
is against us--and they were forced to take sides. Every partizan had
his café; Hebertists, Fayettists, Maratists, Dantonists and
Robespierrists, all gathered where their friends were known to meet.

In the early nineteenth century on the displacement of the favourite
promenade of Parisian _flaneurs_ from the Palais Royal to the Boulevard
des Italiens, the proprietors of cafés and restaurants followed. A group
of young fellows entered one evening a small _cabaret_ near the Comédie
Italienne (now Opéra Comique), found the wine to their taste and the
cuisine excellent. They praised host and fare to their friends, and the
modest _cabaret_ developed into the Café Anglais, most famous of
epicurean temples, frequented during the Second Empire by kings and
princes, to whom alone the haughty proprietor would devote personal

The sumptuous cafés Tortoni founded in 1798 and de Paris opened 1822
have long since passed away. So has the Café Hardy, whose proprietor
invented _dejeûners à la fourchette_, although its rival and neighbour,
the Café Riche, still exists. "One must be very Hardy to dine at
Riche's, and very Riche to dine at Hardy's," was the celebrated _mot_ of
an old gourmand of the First Empire. During the early times of the Third
Republic the Café Fronton was crowded almost daily by prominent
politicians, Gambetta, Spuller, Naquet and others, while the
Imperialists, under Cassagnac, met at the Café de la Paix in the Place
de l'Opéra, which was dubbed the Boulevard de l'Isle d'Elbe. Many others
of the celebrated cafés of the boulevards have disappeared or suffered a
transformation into the more popular Brasseries or Tavernes of which so
many, alternating with the theatres, restaurants and dazzling shops that
line the most-frequented evening promenade of Paris, invite the thirsty
or leisurely pleasure-seeker of to-day.

Nowhere may the traveller gain a better impression of the essential
gaiety and sociability of the Parisian temperament than by sitting
outside a café on the boulevards on a public festival and observing his
neighbours and the passers-by--their imperturbable good humour; their
easy manners; their simple enjoyments; their quick intelligence, alert
gait and expressive gestures; the wonderful skill of the women in dress.
The glittering halls of pleasure that appeal to so many travellers, the
Bohemian cafés of the outer boulevards, the Folies Bergères, the Moulins
Rouges, the Bals Bullier, with their meretricious and vulgar
attractions, frequented by the more facile daughters of Lutetia, "whose
havoc of virtue is measured by the length of their laundresses' bills,"
as a genial satirist of their sex has phrased it--all these
manifestations of _la vie_, so unutterably dull and sordid, are of small
concern to the cultured traveller. The intimate charm and spirit of
Paris will be heard and felt by him not amid the whirlwind of these
saturnalia largely maintained by the patronage of foreign visitors, but
rather in the smaller voices that speak from the inmost Paris which we
have essayed to describe. Nor can we bid more fitting adieu to our
readers than by translating Goethe's words to Eckermann: "Think of the
city of Paris where all the best of the realms of nature and art in the
whole earth are open to daily contemplation, a world-city where the
crossing of every bridge or every square recalls a great past, and where
at every street corner a piece of history has been unfolded."



Abbey Lands, their extent, 34

Abbeys, their need of reform, 56

Abbo, his story of the siege of Paris, 38-43

Abbots, their varied powers, 34

Abelard, comes to Paris, 87;
  his school at St. Denis, 88;
  death of, 89

Abelard and Heloise, their house, 282

Académie Française, origin of, 200

Adam du Petit Pont, 90

Aignan's, St., remains of, 283

Amboise, Cardinal d', employs Solario, 149

Amphitheatre, Roman, 288

Anagni, humiliation of Boniface VIII. at, 107

Angelico, Fra, painting by, at Louvre, 306

Angelo's, Michael, slaves, 305

_Année terrible_, the, 261

Anselm, St., his moral force, 54

Antheric, Bishop, his courage, 42

Antoinette, Marie, her courage, 249;
  her sinister influence, 253, 254

Arches, triumphal, 224, 277, 278

Aristotle, his works at Paris, 99

Armagnac and Burgundian factions, their origin, 127

Armagnacs, massacre of, 129

Assembly, National, the, its patriotism, 248, 256

Attila, 13, 15

Austrasia, kingdom of, 21

Austria, Anne of, her regency, 202

Averroists at Paris, 100


Ballet, importance of the, 330

Bal Mabille, site of, 319

Baptistry, the, 281

Barbarian invasions, 12

Barrère, 270

Barry, Mme. du, 232, 248, 302

Bartholomew, St., massacre of, 168-172

Basine and Childeric, story of, 19

Basoche, Corporation of, 327;
  players of, 327

Bastille, foundation of, 123;
  banquet at, 158;
  captured by the Parlement, 204;
  story of, 250-252

Bazoches, Guy of, his impression of Paris, 66

Bedford, Duke of, Regent at Paris, 130

Bernard, St., his commanding genius, 55;
  denounces Abelard, 89;
  draws up Rule of Knights-Templars, 108

Bernini, his design for the Louvre, 221

Billettes, monastery of, 299

Bishops and abbots, their administrative powers, 23, 24, 46

Boniface VIII., his contest with Philip the Fair, 106, 107;
  his grandeur of soul, 107, 109

Booksellers at Paris, 190

Bordone, Paris, 152

Botticelli, frescoes at Louvre, 307

Boucher, 313

Boulevards, the, 320

Bourbon, Hôtel de, 186, 192;
  plays at, 323

Bourg-la-Reine, 60;
  English at, 119

Bourgogne, Hôtel de, comedians of, 322

Bouvines, victory of, its consequences, 62

Bridges, approaches to, fortified, 36

British sentries at Louvre, 304

Brosse, Pierre de la, his death, 103

Broussel, arrested and set free, 203, 204

Brunehaut, her career and death, 21, 23, 24

Brunswick, Duke of, his proclamation, 257

Bullant, Jean, builds Tuileries, 186

Burgundians, the, 12

Burgundy, Dukes of, 125

Burke, his political nescience, 262

Bury, Richard de, at Paris, 101

Bussy, the island of, 6


Cafés at Paris, their introduction and growth, 331-333;
  their importance in revolutionary times, 334-336

Calvin, 94;
  at Collége de France, 156

Campan, Mme., her memoirs, 233, 245

Capet, Hugh, his coronation, 45;
  founds Capetian dynasty, 45

Capets, growth of Paris under, 47

Carlyle, his history of the Revolution, 246, 247

Carmelites, their establishment at Paris, 72

Carnarvalet, Hôtel de, 297

Carnot, 261

Carrousel, the, 211;
  arch of, 277

Carthusians, their establishment at Paris, 72

Caryatides, Salle des, 164

Castiglione, Rue de, 316

Castile, Blanche of, 67

Catacombs, the, 302

Catholic hierarchy re-established in Paris, 273

Cellini, Benvenuto, at Paris and Fontainebleau, 152-154

Cerceau, Baptiste du, continues Lescot's Louvre, 186

Champaigne, Phil. de, 312

Champeaux, William of, 87

Champs Elysées, 319

Chardin, 314

Charlemagne at Paris, 33;
  the Northmen, 35;
  his patronage of learning, 35

Charles of Burgundy, his defeat by Swiss, 142

Charles I., effect of his trial on the revolutionists, 257-259

Charles V., builds the Hôtel St. Paul, 121;
  his library, 121;
  his love of gardens, 121;
  his wise statesmanship, 121;
  wall of, 122

Charles VI., his minority, 123;
  his madness, 124;
  saved from fire, 125;
  his death and burial, 130

Charles VII., his acclamation as king at Melun, 131;
  his death, 138

Charles VIII., his Italian campaign, 148

Charles IX., 166, 167;
  his vacillation, 169;
  doubtful story of his firing on Huguenots, 173;
  his death, 174

Charonton, attribution of paintings to, 309

Chateauroux, Mme. de, her appeal to Louis XV., 230

Châtelet, the Grand, 147, 300

Châtelet, the Petit, 146, 300

Chavannes, Puvis de, 246, 288

Chénier, M. J., the revolutionary dramatist, 270

Chess players at Paris, 331-333

Chilperic, marriage with Galowinthe, 21;
  his murder, 22;
  his reformed alphabet, 25

Chramm, his defeat and death, 20

Christian hierarchy, its efforts to purify the Church, 54

Church, the, its civilising genius, 24;
  its growing civil power, 34

Church building, expansion of, 47

Cinq-Mars, his execution, 195

Cité, the island of, 2;
  two islets joined to, 187;
  its associations, 281

Clement, Jacques, assassinates Henry III., 177

Clement V., Pope, and the Templars, 110

Clergy, attempted taxation of, 231;
  non-jurors, their expulsion, 272

Clisson, Hôtel de, 297

Clock tower, the, 283

Clodomir, murder of his sons by Childebert and Clothaire, 19, 20

Clothaire, his escape from assassination, 20;
  his death, 21

Cloud, St., foundation of monastery of, 20

Clouet, François, 310

Clouet, Jean, 310

Clouet de Navarre, 310

Clovis, 13, 15;
  conversion of, 17;
  baptism of, 18;
  his cruelty, 18;
  makes Paris his capital, 19;
  tower of, 288

Cluny, college of, 94

Cluny, Hôtel de, 151, 287, 322

_Code civil_, the, 264, 269

Colbert, his administrative genius, 209

Colbert, Hôtel, 316

Coligny, Admiral, his attempted assassination, 168;
  his murder, 170;
  site of his house, 303

Colleges, decadence of, 101

Collége de France, foundation of, 155

Colombe, Michel, 305

Comèdie   Française, the old, 324;
  its origin, 324;
  political factions at, 325;
  literary factions at, 326

Commune, the, 293

Conciergerie, the, 106, 283

Concini, 192; his death, 193

Concorde, place de la, 317, 318

Condé the Great, his insolence, 205, 206

Condé, Prince of, his plot to destroy the Guises, 165;
  his death, 166

Condorcet, 269

Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, 52, 299

_Contrat Social_, the, its influence, 268

Convention, the, abolishes slavery, 264;
  its constructive measures, 263, 264

Cordeliers, refectory of, 288

Corot, 315

Coryat, his impressions of Paris, 189

Cosme, St., 290

Cosme, St., _curé_ of, his revolutionary zeal, 180, 181

Crown, the, its absolutism, 206

Cruce slays 400 Huguenots, 172


Dagobert the Great, 27, 28, 29

Damiens, his attack on Louis XV., 232;
  his horrible torture, 232

Danes, invasions of, 35

_Danseuses_, their introduction into opera, 331

Dante, his use of _artista_, 86;
  at Paris, 100

Danton, 261;
  his trial, 241

D'Artagnan, his dwelling, 303

Daubigny, 315

Dauphin, origin of title, 117, _note_

David, his genius, 314

Delacroix, paintings of, at St. Sulpice, 291;
  and Louvre, 314

Delaroche, 314

Denis, St., abbey of, 28

Denis, St., church of, 15;
  building of new church of, 79

Denis, St., de la Chartre, 31

Denis, St., du Pas, 281

Denis, St., story of, 7;
  body of exposed, 51

Denis, St., Rue, 293

Deputies, Chamber of, 318

Desmoulins, Camille, his revolutionary oration, 249

Diaz, 315

Diderot at Café de la Régence, 331

Dimier, his views on French School of Paintings, 307

Dionysius and his companions, their mission to Paris, 5

Discipline, collegiate, 93, 94

Dix-huit, College of, 92

Dolet, Etienne, his statue, 286

Domenico da Cortona, 148;
  designs Hôtel de Ville, 151

Dominicans, their establishment at Paris, 73

Dragon, Cour du, 291

Dubois, Abbé, his wealth and depravity, 227

Duke of Orleans, his murder, 126


Ebles, Abbot, his courage, 38, 41

Ecclesiastical architecture, development of, 47

Ecole des Beaux Arts, 291

Edict of Nantes, 182;
  revocation of, 214;
  approved by eminent Churchmen, 215;
  effect in Europe, 215

Education, state of, before Revolution, 264

Egalité, Philip, 199;
  his vote, 259

Eloy, St., abbey of, 31, 56, 57

Eloy, St., bishop and goldsmith, 28

Elysée, the, 319

_Émigrés_, the, 254, 256

Empire, the Second, streets of, 278

Encyclopedists, their aims, 267

English, the, at Paris, 120, 135, 136;
  evacuate Paris, 137;
  expelled from Calais, 162

Estampes, Madame d', 153, 154

Estiennes, the, 143, 144

Estrées, Gabrielle d', 181

Etienne du Mont, St., 17, 151, 288

Etoile, arch of, 277, 278

Eudes, Count, 38, 41, 42

Eugene III., Pope, at Paris, 57

Eustache, St., church of, 151, 303

Evelyn, witnesses torture of accused prisoners, 262


Ferronnerie, Rue de la, 185

Feudalism, origin of, 44

Flamboyant, not a debasement of Gothic, 145, _note_

Flandrin, frescoes by, at St. Germain des Prés, 291

Fleury, Cardinal, his honest administration, 229

Flore, Pavilion de, 186

Fontainebleau, school of, 152

Fontaine des Innocents, 164

Fouarre, Rue du, 100

Fouquet, 310

Foy, Café, 249

Fragonnard, 313

France, her greatness under Richelieu, 195

Francis I., his entry into Paris, 150;
  the Renaissance, 150;
  his magnificent hospitality, 157;
  life at Paris under, 157;
  his access of piety, 158, 159;
  his death, 160

Francis II. at Amboise, 165

Francis, St., his love of the French tongue, 99

Franciscans, their establishment at Paris, 73

Franklin, Benjamin, at Versailles, 254

Franks, the, 13

Fredegonde, her cruelty and death, 21-23

French language, its universality, 99

French people, their desire for peace, 274

Fromont, Nicholas, 309

Fronde, the, 204

Fronde, the second, 205;
  defeat of, 206

Fulbert, Canon, his house, 282

Fulrad, Abbot, completes Church of St. Denis, 33


Galilée, the island of, 6

Genevieve, St., her story, 14, 15;
  monastery of, 17;
  shrine of, 17;
  abbey of, 30;
  Templars at, 111

Geneviève, Ste., la Petite, 60

Gericault, his Raft of the Medusa, 314

Germain, St., of Auxerre, 14, 27

Germain, St., l'Auxerrois, 31, 303

Germain, St., of Autun, 24, 25

Germain, St., des Prés, 23;
  captured by Henry IV., 178;
  church of, 291

Germain, St., Faubourg, 293

Gervais, St., church of, 31, 295

Gibbon at Paris, 242

Giocondo, Fra, rebuilds Petit Pont and Pont Notre Dame, 148

Girondins, their condemnation, 241

Goethe, his speech at Valmy, 246;
  his description of the revolutionary army, 262

Goldoni assisted by the Convention, 264

Gothic art of the thirteenth century, 84

Goths, the, 12, 13

Goujon, Jean, his work at the Louvre, 164, 306;
  decorates the Fontaine des Innocents, 164;
  reliefs by, at the Carnavalet, 297

Gozlin, his patriotism and courage, 37, 38, 40, 41

Grande Galerie, the, 186, 191

Gregory, St., of Tours, 13, 22

Greuze, 314

Grève, Place de, 293

Guénégaud, Théâtre, 324

Guise, Duke Francis of, shot by a Huguenot, 165

Guise, Duke Henry of, his popularity at Paris, 176;
  his assassination, 177

Guises, rise of the, 161


Halles, les, 59, 148, 302

Halle aux Vins, 60, _note_

Hawkers, 259, 270

Heine and the Venus de Milo, 305

Héloïse and Abelard, loves of, 88;
  their grave at Paris, 89

Henry I., son of Robert the Pious, his accession, 51

Henry II., his death, 162

Henry III., his coronation, 175;
  his assassination, 177

Henry IV., his conversion, 181;
  his patriotism, 181, 184;
  his divorce, 182;
  his assassination, 185;
  his architectural achievements, 187;
  his statue, 197

Henry V. of England, 128;
  death and burial of, 130

Henry V. and Charles VI., entry into Paris, 131

Heretics, first execution of, 49

Hervé and his eleven companions, their heroism, 40, 41

Hierarchy, the, its unpopularity, 272

Holbein, 307

Homme Armé, Rue de l', 135, 297

Horloge, Pavilion de l', 198

Host, miracle of sacred, 299

Hôtel Dieu, foundation of, 31;
  rules of, 76;
  site of, 281

Hôtel St Paul, 121

Hôtel des Tournelles, 140, 146

Hôtel de Ville, 279, 293, 295

Hugh (Eudes), Count, his heroism, 38, 41, 42

Hugo, Victor, his exile and return, 274;
  his house, 297

Huguenots, hostility of Parisians to, 167


Infanta, Garden of, 229;
  betrothed to Louis XV., 229

Ingres, 314

Innocent II., Pope, at Paris, 59

Innocents, Cemetery of, 148

Innocents, Square des, 301

Institut, the, 207

Invalides, Hôpital des, 223

Irish College, 286

Italian College, 286

Ivry, battle of, 179


Jacobins, 197;
  their aims, 267;
  their supreme service to France, 268

Jacquerie, the, 118

Jacques de la Boucherie, St., 60, 300

Jacques, St., Rue, 5, 284

Jansenists and Jesuits, 218, 230

Jardin des Plantes, 200

Jean, St., Feu de, 295

Jean sans Peur, 125;
  tower of, 127;
  his assassination, 130;
  inscription, 297

Jeanne d'Arc, saviour of France, 131, 132;
  wounded at siege of Paris, 132;
  her capture, trial and execution, 132, 133;
  her rehabilitation at Notre Dame, 134

Jefferson and Marie Antoinette, 253

Jesuits, their suppression, 232

Jews at Paris, their treatment, 34, 49, 59

John the Good, 104, 117;
  at Paris, 119

Jongleurs, their charity, 321

Judicial penalties at Paris, 159

Juifs, les, the Island of, 6

Julian, the Emperor, his love of Paris, 10

Julian, St., of the minstrels, 321

Julien le Pauvre, St., 27;
  rebuilding of, 81;
  church of, 284

Jupiter, altar to, 9, 287;
  temple of, 7


Knights-Templars, their foundation, 108;
  their heroism, 109;
  their arrest and torture, 110, 111;
  their destruction, 112, 116;
  site of their fortress, 299


Lafayette, his loyalty, 256

Landry, St., fair of, 98;
  gifts by scholars, 98;
  port of, 282, 283

Latini Brunetto, 99

Laurens, J. P., paintings at Luxembourg and Panthéon, 48, _note_, 240

Law, John, his financial scheme, 227, 228

League, the, 175;
  its ecclesiastical army, 179

Leaguers, their triumph, 176;
  their violence, 181

Lebrun, 312

Leczynski, Marie, her marriage to Louis XV., 229;
  her death, 233

Legros, 290

Lemercier continues the Louvre, 198;
  designs Palais Cardinal, 199

Lemoine, Cardinal, college of, 93

Lescot, Pierre, designs new Louvre, 157;
  designs Fontaine des Innocents, 164

Lesueur, 311

Levau, his suspension, 221

Lorrain, Claude, 312

Lorraine, Cardinal of, 177

Louis VI. chastises rebellious vassals, 54;
  pioneer of the monarchy, 58

Louis VII., 60;
  birth of an heir, 61

Louis VIII. invades England, 62

Louis XI., his shabby dress, 138;
  his policy, 139;
  at Paris, 139, 140;
  meets Edward IV. of England, 140;
  institutes the Angelus, 140;
  his death, 142

Louis XII. invites Leonardo da Vinci to France, 149;
  his wise rule, 149, 150

Louis XIII., his accession, 192;
  his _coup d'état_, 193

Louis XIV., his accession, 209;
  his small attainments, 211;
  his hatred of Paris, 212;
  court of, 210, 211, 219;
  secret marriage with Mme. Scarron, 213;
  death of his heirs, 219;
  his death, 220;
  state of France and Paris at end of his reign, 226;
  his vandalism, 236

Louis XV., his majority, 228;
  his sickness and recovery, 231;
  his vicious life, 231;
  his disastrous reign, 233, 234;
  his death, 233

Louis XVI., his accession, 243;
  state of Paris under, 243;
  his vacillation, 253;
  intrigues with foreign courts, 254;
  his trial and sentence, 259, 260;
  execution of, 261

Louis Philippe, 273

Louis, St., his early youth, 67;
  his love of justice, 67, 77;
  redeems the crown of thorns, 68;
  his views on the treatment of Jews and infidels, 69;
  builds the Sainte Chapelle, 69;
  his hatred of blasphemy, 71;
  his death, 77

Louviers, the island of, 6

Louvois and Vauban, inventors of bayonet, 210

Louvre, building of, 62;
  its position, 65;
  demolition of keep, 156;
  west wing completed, 164;
  continued by Lemercier, 198;
  continued by Levau, 220;
  Perrault, base of, 222;
  neglect of, by Louis XIV., 223;
  and by Louis XV., 234;
  repair of, 235;
  during the Revolution, 275;
  under Napoleon I., 276;
  under Napoleon III., 276;
  paintings in, 304;
  sculpture in, 305, 306

Loyola, Ignatius, founds Society of Jesus at Paris, 156

Luini, 307

Lulli, his musical genius, 329

Lulli, Hôtel, 316

Lutetia, its origin, 3

Lutetius, hill of, 4

Lutherans, their violence and iconomachy, 158;
  persecution of, 159, 160

Luxembourg, palace and gardens of, 197, 290;
  museum of, 290

Luxor, Column of, 278

Luynes, his rise and fall, 193, 194


Madeleine, the, 277

Maillotins, the, 123

Maintenon, Mme. de, her ascendency over Louis XIV., 213, 214, 216, 217;
  the Protestants and, 214

Malouel, 309

Manége, Salle du, 259

Mansard, François, extends Palais Royal, 199

Marais, the, 7, 65, 295

Marat, his body at the Cordeliers, 288;
  site of his house, 289

Marcel, Etienne, buys the Maison aux Piliers, 117;
  his power at Paris, 118;
  accused of treachery, 119;
  his statue, 117;
  his death, 118, 119

Marcel, Etienne, Rue, 127

Marlborough, Duke of, his victories, 216

Marly, hermitage of, 213

Marmoutier, monastery of, 9

Mars, Champ de, 252

Martel, Charles, birth of, 29

Martin, St., des Champs, rebuilding of, 52

Martin, St., story of, 8

Martin, St., Rue, 293

Mary Stuart, at Amboise, 165

Massacres of September, 258

Maur, St., des Fossés, 34

May Tree, planting of, in Cour du Mai, 328

Mayenne, Hôtel de, 295

Mazarin, Cardinal, his cautious policy, 202;
  his unpopularity, 205;
  his triumph, 206;
  his death, 207

Mazzini, his teaching, 268

Medici, Catherine de', her rise to importance, 165;
  her plot against the Huguenots, 168, 169;
  her death and unpopularity, 178;
  remains of her hôtel, 302

Medici, Marie de', marriage with Henry IV., 182;
  her coronation, 184;
  her disgrace and death, 195

Médicine, Ecole de, 288

Merri, St., church of, 151

Meuniers, Pont des, collapse of, 188

Michel le Comte, Rue, plays in, 322

Mignard, 312

Millet, 313, 315

Miracles, Cour des, 302

Molay, Jacques de, 109-111

Molé, President, his courage, 204

Molière, imprisoned for debt, 323;
  opens _l'Illustre Théâtre_, 323;
  his success at court, 323

Monasteries, their increase, 24;
  suppression of, at Paris, 272

Monastic settlements, 34

Monks and nuns, their declining morals, 55, 56

Monks, their science and learning, 24

Montaigne, College of, 94

Montfaucon, 103;
  its "fair gallows," 189

Montgomery, Duke of, kills Henry II., 162

Montmartre, 7;
   nunnery of, 60

Montmorency, his execution, 195

Morris, Governor, his estimate of Louis XVI., 253

Moulins, Maître de, 309, 310


Nain, Le, the brothers, 311

Napoleon I., his policy, 265;
  his raids on Italy, 266;
  crowns himself at Notre Dame, 266;
  his genius, 267;
  secret of his power, 268;
  his plans for the Louvre, 276;
  his new streets, 277;
  his tomb, 293

Napoleon III., his _coup d'état_, 274

Nautæ, guild of the, 9

Navarre, college of, 93

Navarre, Henry of, affianced to Princess Marguerite, 167;
  his marriage festivities, 167

Navarre, Jeanne de, 166;
  her death at Court, 167

Necker, Mme., her salon, 269

Nemours, Duke of, executed at Paris, 141

Neustria, kingdom of, 21

Nicholas, St., chapel of, 31, 33;
  scholars of, 92

Nobles, the, their rapacity, 192

_Noces Vermeilles_, the, 168

Nogaret, Guillaume de, 107

Normans, the, settle in France, 43

Notre Dame, church of, 9, 26, 281;
  rebuilding of, 81;
  English envoys at, 157;
  clerical iconoclasts of, 236;
  worship of Nature at, 272

Notre Dame, the island of, 6


Odéon, Théâtre de l', 325

OEil de Boeuf, the, 248

Oiseaux, Pont aux, consumed by fire, 189

Opera, French, rise of, 329

Opera house, the, 279, 330

Opera, Italian, introduced to Paris, 329

Orders, the reformed, 55

Oriflamme, the, its first use as royal standard, 58;
  its disappearance, 128

Orleans, Philip of, his regency, 227

Orme, Philibert de l', 186


Paine, Thomas, his votes for mercy, 259, 260

Paix, Rue de la, 316

Palais Cardinal, Théâtre du, its site, 325

Palais of the Cité rebuilt, 104;
  surrendered to Parlement, 121

Palais de Justice injured by fire, 240;
  booksellers at, 240, 241;
  Revolutionary tribunal at, 241

Palais Royal, 199, 200, 315;
  revolutionists at, 249;
  theatre of, 324

Palissy, Bernard, his grotto, 186

Panthéon, its vicissitudes, 238-240

Paraclete, the, 89

Paris, its geographical situation, 1, 2;
  its capture by the Romans, 4;
  the White City, 4;
  arms of, 9;
  Julian proclaimed emperor at, 10;
  siege of, by Childeric, 15;
  the market of the peoples, 34;
  siege of, by Normans, 37;
  a city of refuge, 46;
  under interdict, 57;
  growth of, under Louis VI., 59;
  under English rule, 135;
  in the fifteenth century, 145;
  crafts of, 146, 147;
  siege of, by Henry III. and Henry of Navarre, 177;
  siege of, by Henry IV., 179;
  under Richelieu, 196, 197;
  made an archbishopric, 202;
  Turenne and Condé fight for, 206;
  misery at, 217;
  under Louis XIV., 220;
  Louis XVI. and court returns to, 249;
  an armourer's shop, 261;
  life at, during the Revolution, 269;
  school of, at Louvre, 309

Parisian women at Versailles, 249

Parisians, their chastisement by Charles VI., 123, 124;
  their fidelity to the revolutionary ideals, 273

Parisii, the, 3

Parlement, the, 104, 106;
  councillors of, hanged by the sections, 180;
  councillors arrested, 203;
  its public spirit, 203;
  its humiliation by Louis XIV., 206;
  suppression of, 233

Pascal, his statue, 300

Passion, confraternity of, 321

Passion plays, their success, 322

Paul III., Pope, his humane protest against persecution of Lutherans, 160

Pavia, defeat of, 154

Pepin of Heristal, 29;
  of Landen, 29;
  the Short, becomes king of France, 30

Père la Chaise, 206

Peronne, peace of, 141

Perrault, Claude, his design for the Louvre accepted, 221;
  his east façade, 222, 276

Perréal, 310

Petite Galerie, the, 173, 187

Petit Pont, the, 6;
  Place du, 284

Philip Augustus, his birth and accession, 61;
  his conquests, 62;
  pavement of, 63;
  wall of, 63-65;
  his wisdom, 65

Philip I., his depravity and adultery, 52, 53;
  his excommunication and death, 53, 54

Philip III., 103

Philip VI., 117

Philip le Bon, Duke of Burgundy, sides with the English, 130

Philip the Fair, 104;
  conflict with Boniface VIII., 106-108;
  destroys Templars, 110-115;
  his death, 115

Picpus, village of, 189

Pierre aux Boeufs, St., 60, 281

Pierre, St., des Fossés, 34

Pilon, Germain, 305

Place Royale, 187, 296, 297

Playing cards, revolutionary, 271

Poitiers, Diane de, 144, 162

Pol, St., Count of, executed at Paris, 141

Pompadour, Mme. de, her power, 231, 232

Pont au Change rebuilt, 189

Pont Marie, 201

Pont Neuf, 197, 284

Pont Notre Dame, 7

Pont Royal, 224

Portes Cochères, corps of, 204

Port Royal, destruction of, 218

Poussin, 311

Prés aux Clercs, the, 97

Primaticcio, 152, 153, 311

Primitifs, at Louvre, 308

Printing, introduction of, at Paris, 143;
  at the Louvre, 200

Provost of Merchants, 9;
  last of, 293

Provost of Paris, his hotel, 295

Public good, league of, 139


Quatre Nations, the, 95

Quinze-vingts, establishment of, at Paris, 74


Radegonde, St., her piety, 25;
  nuns of, at Cambridge, 25

Raphael, 306

Ravaillac, assassin of Henry IV., his cruel torture, 185

Rectors, their power, 95, 98

Reformation, the, 164

Rembrandt, 307

Rémi, St., 13

Republic, the second, 274

Republic, the third, its patriotism, 274;
  architecture of, 278

Restoration, the, architecture of, 277

Retz, Cardinal de, 203;
  joins the insurrection, 204, 205

Revolutionary, Committee of the League, 180

Revolution, the, its triumph, 262;
  its results, 275;
  Place de la, 317

Revolutionists, their attitude towards England, 265

Richelieu, his rise to fame, 193, 194;
  his firmness, 194;
  his death, 195;
  second founder of Sorbonne, 200;
  his tomb at the Sorbonne, 200

Rigaud, 313

Robert the Pious, his excommunication, 48;
  his charity, 48;
  repudiates his queen, 47, 48;
  marries Constance of Aquitaine, 48

Robert the Strong, 37

Robespierre and the Terror, 246, 247;
  his feast of the _Etre Suprème_, 273;
  at chess, 333

Rochelle, la, capture of, 194

Roland, 270

Roland, Mme., 283

Rollo, 37, 43

Roman amphitheatre, the, 5

Roman aqueduct, the, 5

Roman Empire, exhaustion of, 12

Rosso, 152, 311

Rousseau, his impressions of Paris, 226;
  his journey from Paris to Lyons, 244

Rousseau, Théodore, 315

Royalty, abolition of, 258

Royale, place, 187, 296, 297

Rubens, 307

Ryswick, peace of, 215


Sacre Coeur, church of, 240, 279

Sainte Chapelle, the, 69, 82, 83

Samaritaine, la, 198

Sarto, Andrea del, 152

Saxe, Marshall, his victories, 231

Scholars, their lack of discipline, 90;
  their festive meetings, 91;
  their depravity, 92;
  poor, at Paris, 92;
  defence of, by king, 97

Schoolman, the, 100

Sculpture, Greek, at Louvre, 305;
  mediæval and renaissance, at Louvre, 305

Sections, the, 176, 180;
  their defeat, 180

Sens, Archbishop of, and Templars, 112;
  his palace, 295

Serfdom, 49

Serfs, their condition, 49, 50

Séverin, St., church of, 284, 286

Sévigné, Mme. de, 297

Siegbert, marriage with Brunehaut, 21

Siéyès, Abbé, 269

Siger, at Paris, 100

Signs, old, at Paris, 303

Simon, St., Duke of, his memoirs, 210

Soissons, the vase of, 13

Sorbon, Robert of, founds the Sorbonne, 92

Sorbonne, introduction of painting at, 143;
  Greek lectureship at, 145;
  the new, 288

Soubise, Hôtel de, 297

Soufflot builds Panthéon, 238;
  mutilates west front of Notre Dame, 238

Staël, Mme. de, 270

States-General, establishment of, 104;
  convoked by Dauphin, 117;
  meet at the Louvre, 180;
  at the Hôtel de Bourbon, 192;
  at Versailles, 247

Stephen, St., church of, 31

Stephen III., Pope, at Paris, 30

Street names, revolutionary, 271

Streets, old, at Paris, 286, 299

Suger, Abbot, 58;
  builds new St. Denis, 79

Sully, Duke of, 182, 184;
  his enforced retirement, 192;
  Hôtel de, 295

Sully, Maurice de, builds cathedral of Notre Dame, 81

Sulpice, St., church of, 241, 242, 291

Surgery, school of, 290

Swiss Guards, their devotion and courage, 257


Talleyrand, Bishop, 270

Talma, Julie, 270

Talma, 326

Tax farmers, their brutality, 245

Tennis-court oath, 248

Terror, the white, 247, _note_

Terror, the, at Paris, 262

Theatre, the early, 323

Thermæ, the, 9, 10

Tiberius Cæsar, discovery of altar to, 9

Tiers Etat, at Notre Dame, 106;
  its humiliation, 192

Titian, 306

Trône, place du, 189

Troyes, treaty of, 130

Troyon, 315

Truce of God, 98

Tuileries, the, 186;
  secret flight of royal family from, 255;
  attack on, 257;
  palace and gardens of, 315, 316

Turenne, his defeat at Paris, 205, 206


University, first use of term, 95

Ursins, Mme. des, her power in Spain, 216

Utrecht, peace of, 219


Vaches, isle des, 6

Val de Grâce, church of, 223

Vallière, Mme. de la, 212

Van Dyck, 307

Vasari, his appreciation of Fra Angelico, 306

Vauban, his military science, 210;
  his estimate of the national resources, 215

Vendôme, Duke of, his depravity, 216

Vendôme, place and column of, 316

Venetian merchants at Paris, 34;
  their sympathy with Jeanne d'Arc, 133

Venise, Rue de, 299

Vergniaud, 260, 270

Veronese, 306

Versailles, château of, 212;
  cost of, 213, _note_;
  opera house, scene at, 248;
  the revolution at, 247

Victoires, Notre Dame des, 194, _note_

Victor, St., prior of, stabbed, 57;
  abbey of, 60

Ville, the, 146, 147

Vinci, da, his Monna Lisa at Louvre, 306

Viollet le Duc, his love of Gothic, 278

Voltaire, his solvent wit, 269, 270

Volterra, Daniele da, his statue of Louis XIII., 187

Vosges, Place des, 187

Vouet, 311


Wall, the Roman, 6

Watteau, his manner of painting, 313;
  works by, at Louvre, 313

Whistler, 290


_Colston & Coy., Limited, Printers, Edinburgh._

       *       *       *       *       *


 [1] "_Faudra recommencer_" ("We must begin again"), said, to the
 present writer in 1871, a Communist refugee bearing a great scar on
 his face from a wound received fighting at the barricades.

 [2] _Inf._ XXIX. 121-123. A French commentator consoles himself by
 reflecting that the author of the _Divina Commedia_ is far more
 vituperative when dealing with certain Italian peoples, whom he
 designates as hogs, curs, wolves and foxes.

 [3] Cobbett, comparing the relative intellectual culture of the
 British Isles and of France between the years 1600 and 1787, found
 that of the writers on the arts and sciences who were distinguished by
 a place in the _Universal, Historical, Critical and Bibliographical
 Dictionary_ one hundred and thirty belonged to England, Scotland and
 Ireland, and six hundred and seventy-six to France.

 [4] "Nous cuisinons même l'amour."--TAINE.

 [5] The Seine takes five hours to flow through the seven miles of
 modern Paris.

 [6] "_Cesare armato con gli occhi grifani._"--_Inferno_, iv. 123.

 [7] Of some 10,000 ancient inscriptions found in Gaul, only twenty are
 in Celtic, and less than thirty words of Celtic origin now remain in
 the French language.

 [8] The water supply of Paris is even now partly derived from these
 sources, and flows along the old repaired Roman aqueduct.

 [9] Traces of the Gallo-Roman wall have been discovered, and are
 marked across the roadway opposite No. 6 Rue de la Colombe.

 [10] The Isle de Galilée was joined to the Cité during the thirteenth

 [11] In 1848 some remains were found of the old halls of this
 building, and of its columns, worn by the ropes of the boatmen who
 used to moor their craft to them.

 [12] The exact position of this bridge is much disputed by
 authorities, some of whom would locate it on the site of the present
 Pont au Change. The balance of probabilities seems to us in favour of
 the position given in the text.

 [13] "_Jovem brutum atque hebetem._"

 [14] Not to be confounded with the Royal Provost, a king's officer,
 who replaced the Carlovingian counts and Capetian viscounts.

 [15] The present writer recalls a similar glacial epoch in Paris
 during the early eighties, when the Seine was frozen over at Christmas

 [16] By the law of 350 A.D. it was a capital offence
 to sacrifice to or honour the old gods. The persecuted had become
 persecutors. Boissier, _La Fin du Paganisme_.

 [17] "He soon hugs himself in unconditioned ease."

 [18] To protect home producers against the competition of the Gallic
 wine and olive growers, Roman statesmen could conceive nothing better
 than the stupid expedient of prohibiting the culture of the vine and
 olive in Gaul.

 [19] The favourite arm of the Franks, a short battle-axe, used as a
 missile or at close quarters.

 [20] Her figure was a favourite subject for the sculptors of Christian
 churches. She usually bears a taper in her hand and a devil is seen
 peering over her shoulder. This symbolises the miraculous relighting
 of the taper after the devil had extinguished it. The taper was long
 preserved at Notre Dame.

 [21] If we may believe Gregory of Tours, her arguments were
 vituperative rather than convincing. "Your Jupiter," said she, "is
 _omnium stuprorum spurcissimus perpetrator_."

 [22] Merovée, second of the kings of the Salic Franks, was fabled to
 be the issue of Clodio's wife and a sea monster.

 [23] The palace in the Cité, where now stands the Palais de Justice.

 [24] Roads in the Arrondissement of Amiens and Mondidier in Picardy
 are still known as Chaussées Brunehautes.

 [25] The works of art traditionally ascribed to St. Eloy are many. He
 is reported to have made a golden throne set with stones (or rather
 two thrones, for he used his material so honestly and economically).
 He was made master of the mint and thirteen pieces of money are known
 which bear his name. He decorated the tombs of St. Martin and St.
 Denis, and constructed reliquaries for St. Germain, Notre Dame, and
 other churches.

 [26] Five of them died between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six.

 [27] It was during this struggle that St. Leger, bishop of Autun,
 whose name is dear to English sportsmen, one of the most popular of
 saints in his time, was imprisoned, blinded and subsequently beheaded
 by Ebrion's orders in 678.

 [28] The term Cité (_civitas_) was given to the old Roman part of many
 French towns.

 [29] The Carlovingians had been careful to abolish the office of mayor
 of the palace.

 [30] St. Pierre was subsequently enriched by the possession of the
 body of St. Maur, brought thither in the Norman troubles by fugitive
 monks from Anjou, and the monastery is better known to history under
 the name of St. Maur des Fossés. The entrails of our own Henry V. were
 buried there. Rabelais, before its secularisation, was one of its
 canons, and Catherine de Medicis once possessed a château on its site.
 Monastery and château no longer exist.

 [31] The villa of those days was a vast domain, part dwelling, part
 farm, part game preserve.

 [32] The remains of the great Viking's castle are still shown at
 Aalesund, in Norway.

 [33] When Allan Barbetorte, after the recovery of Nantes, went to give
 thanks to God in the cathedral, he was compelled to cut his way, sword
 in hand, through thorns and briers.

 [34] It must be admitted, however, that the poet's uncouth diction is
 anything but Virgilian.

 [35] Abbo's favourite epithet. They were without a head, for they knew
 not Christ, the Head of Mankind.

 [36] In the Middle Ages and down to 1761 Montfaucon had a sinister
 reputation. There stood the gallows of Paris, a great stone gibbet
 with its three rows of chains, near the old Barrière du Combat, where
 the present Rue de la Grange aux Belles abuts on the Boulevard de la

 [37] William the Conqueror was also known as William the Builder.

 [38] The surname Capet is said to have originated in the _capet_
 or hood of the abbot's mantle which Hugh wore as lay abbot of St.
 Martin's, having laid aside the crown after his coronation.

 [39] Carducci. _In una Chiesa gotica._

 [40] A dramatic representation of the delivery of the papal bull,
 painted by Jean Paul Laurens, hangs in the museum of the Luxembourg.

 [41] It must be remembered that heresy was the solvent anti-social
 force of the age, and was regarded with the same feelings of
 abhorrence as anarchist doctrines are regarded by modern statesmen.

 [42] The Rue des Francs Bourgeois in Paris reminds us that there
 dwelt those who were free to move without the consent of their feudal

 [43] It was the conduct of this campaign that won for Robert the title
 of Robert the Devil.

 [44] The possession of an oven was a lucrative monopoly in mediæval
 times. The writer knows of a village in South Italy where this curious
 privilege is still possessed by the parish priest, who levies a small
 indemnity of a few loaves, made specially of larger size, for each use
 of the oven.

 [45] He was said to be "kind even to Jews."

 [46] The indignant scribe is most precise: they walked abroad _artatis
 clunibus et protensis natibus_.

 [47] The reformers always discover the nunneries to be so much more
 corrupt than the monasteries, but it is a little suspicious that in
 every case the former are expropriated to the latter. The abbot of St.
 Maur evidently had some qualms concerning the expropriation of St.
 Eloy, and wished to restore it to the bishop.

 [48] The abbey was suppressed at the time of the Revolution, and the
 site is now occupied by the Halle aux Vins.

 [49] In the ardour of the fight the king found himself surrounded by
 the enemy's footmen, was unhorsed, and while they were vainly seeking
 for a vulnerable spot in his armour some French knights had time to
 rescue him.

 [50] Jeanne de Bourgogne, queen of Philip le Long, lived at the Hôtel
 de Nesle, and is said to have seduced scholars by night into the
 tower, had them tied in sacks and flung into the Seine. If we may
 believe Villon, this was the queen--

    "Qui commanda que Buridan
     Fust jetté en ung sac en Seine."

 Legend adds that the schoolman, made famous by his thesis, that if
 an ass were placed equidistant between two bundles of hay of equal
 attraction he would die of hunger before he could resolve to eat
 either, was saved by his disciples, who placed a barge, loaded with
 straw, below the tower to break his fall.

 [51] She was wont to say to her son--"I would rather see thee die than
 commit a mortal sin."

 [52] By a subtle irony, part of the money was derived from the tribute
 of the Jews of Paris.

 [53] In the catalogue of the Acts of Francis I., quoted by Lavisse, is
 an order to pay the Dames des Filles de Joie, which follow the court,
 forty-five livres tournois for their payments, due for the month of
 May 1540, as it has been the custom to do from most ancient times (_de
 toute ancienneté_.)

 [54] On account of the cord they wore round their habit.

 [55] St. Louis loved the Franciscans, and in the _Fioretti_ a
 beautiful story is told how the king, in the guise of a pilgrim,
 visiting Brother Giles at Perugia, knelt with the good friar in the
 embrace of fervent affection for a great space of time in silence.
 They parted without speaking a word.

 [56] The sale or the provostship of Paris was abolished and a man of
 integrity, Etienne Boileau, appointed with adequate emoluments. So
 completely was this once venal office rehabilitated, that no seigneur
 regarded the post as beneath him.

 [57] It was buried in the church of Monreale at Palermo.

 [58] Joinville was a brave and tender knight; he tells us that before
 starting to join the crusaders at Marseilles he called all his friends
 and household before him, and prayed that if he had wronged any one of
 them he would declare it and reparation should be made. After a severe
 penance he was assoiled, and as he set forth, durst not turn back his
 eyes lest his heart should be melted at leaving his fair château of
 Joinville and his two children whom he loved so dearly.

 [59] The relics were transferred to a new church of St. Stephen (St.
 Etienne du Mont), built by the abbot of St. Genevieve as a parish
 church for his servants and tenants.

 [60] The early glass-workers were particularly fond of their beautiful
 red. "Wine of the colour of the glass windows of the Sainte-Chapelle,"
 was a popular locution of the time.

 [61] Brunetto Latini, in the thirteenth century contrasted the high
 towers and grim stone walls of the fortress-palaces of the Italian
 nobles with the large, spacious and painted houses of the French,
 their rooms adorned _pour avoir joie et delit_ (to have joy and
 delight) and surrounded with orchards and gardens.

 [62] Another delusion of moderns is that there was an absence of
 personal cleanliness in those ages. In the census of the inhabitants
 of Paris, who in 1292 were subject to the Taille, there are inscribed
 the names of no less than twenty-six proprietors of public baths: a
 larger proportion to population than exists to-day.

 [63] Hence the name of _clerc_ applied to any student, even if a

 [64] "Love is quickly caught in gentle heart."

 [65] Afterwards bishop of London.

 [66] The two churches still existed in the eighteenth century and
 stood on the site of the southern Cours Visconti and Lefuel of the
 present Louvre.

 [67] The actual originator was, however, the queen's physician, Robert
 de Douai, who left a sum of money which formed the nucleus of the

 [68] The Montaigue scholars were called _capetes_ from their peculiar
 _cape fermée_, or cloak, such as Masters of Arts used to wear. The
 Bibliothèque St. Genevieve occupies the site of the college.

 [69] The Rue des Anglais still exists in the Latin Quarter.

 [70] This interesting twelfth-century building will be found in the
 Rue St. Julien le Pauvre, and is now used as a Uniat Greek church.

 [71] Par. X. 136. "Who lecturing in Straw St. deduced truths that
 brought him hatred."

 [72] Benvenuto was certainly in France and possibly in Paris during
 the fourteenth century. At any rate he would be familiar with Parisian
 students, many of whom were Italians.

 [73] In the seventeenth century the councillors had increased to one
 hundred and twenty and the courts to seven.

 [74] The term "Parlement" was originally applied to the transaction of
 the common business of a monastic establishment after the conclusion
 of the daily chapter.

 [75] The contemporary chronicler, Villani, says of one of these
 scoundrels that he "was named Nosso Dei, one of our Florentines, a man
 filled with every vice."

 [76] The indictment covers seven quarto pages. The charges may be
 briefly classified as blasphemy, heresy, spitting and trampling on the
 crucifix, obscene and secret rites, and unnatural crimes.

 [77] There is a significant entry on page 273 of the published trial:
 _in ista pagina nihil est scriptum_. The empty page tells of the
 moment when the papal commissioners, having heard that the fifty-four
 had been burned, suspended the sitting.

 [78] _Nihil sibi appropriare intendebat._

 [79] Or the isle of the Jews, which, with its sister islet of Bussy,
 were subsequently joined to the island of the Cité, and now form the
 Place Dauphine and the land that divides the Pont Neuf. Philip watched
 the fires from his palace garden.

 [80] It is to be hoped that some English scholar will do for these
 most important records, the earliest report of any great criminal
 trial which we possess, what Mr T. Douglas Murray has done for the
 Trial and Rehabilitation of Joan of Arc.

 [81] During John the Good's reign, the province of Dauphiny had been
 added to the French crown, and the king's eldest son took the title of

 [82] So called from the familiar appellation "Jacques Bonhomme,"
 applied half in contempt, half in jest, by the seigneurs to the
 peasants who served them in the wars.

 [83] The bastilles were fortified castles before the chief gates of

 [84] Howell mentions the locution in a letter dated 1654.

 [85] Charles taxed and borrowed heavily. Even the members of his
 household were importuned for loans, however small. His cook lent him
 frs. 67.50.

 [86] The scene is quaintly illustrated in an illuminated copy of
 Froissart in the British Museum.

 [87] The scene of the assassination is marked by an escutcheon and an

 [88] They melted down the reliquaries in the Paris churches.

 [89] In 1417 Charles, returning from a visit to the queen at the
 castle of Vincennes, met the Chevalier Bois-Burdon going thither.
 He ordered his arrest, and under torture a confession reflecting
 on the queen's honour was extorted. Bois-Burdon was sewn in a sack
 and dropped into the Seine. The queen was banished to Tours, and
 her jewels and treasures confiscated. Furious with the king and the
 Armagnac faction, she made common cause with the Duke of Burgundy.

 [90] A portrait of Jean sans Peur exists in the Louvre, No. 1002.

 [91] An equestrian statue in bronze stands at the south end of the Rue
 des Pyramides, a few hundred yards from the spot where the Maid fell
 before the Porte St. Honoré.

 [92] The faculty of Theology declared her sold to the devil, impious
 to her parents, stained with Christian blood. The faculty of Law
 decreed her deserving of punishment, but only if she were obstinate
 and of sound mind.

 [93] In 1421 and 1422 the people of Paris had seen Henry V. and
 his French consort sitting in state at the Louvre, surrounded by
 a brilliant throng of princes, prelates and barons. Hungry crowds
 watched the sumptuous banquet and then went away fasting, for nothing
 was offered them. "It was not so in the former times under our
 kings," they murmured, "then there was open table kept, and servants
 distributed the meats and wine even of the king himself."

 [94] Part of the Rue de l'Homme Armé still exists.

 [95] The fifteenth-century goldsmiths of Paris: Loris, the Hersants,
 and Jehan Gallant, were famed throughout Europe.

 [96] The reader will hardly need to be reminded that this amazing
 folly forms one of the principal episodes in Scott's _Quentin Durward_.

 [97] Flamboyant windows were a natural, technical development of
 Gothic. The aim of the later builders was to facilitate the draining
 away of the water which the old mullioned windows used to retain.

 [98] One of the façades of this remarkable building may be seen in the
 courtyard of the Beaux Arts at Paris.

 [99] Brittany was incorporated with the Monarchy 1491.

 [100] The good king's portrait by an Italian sculptor may be seen in
 the Louvre, Room VII., and on his monument in St. Denis he kneels
 beside his beloved and _chère Bretonne_, Anne of Brittany, whose loss
 he wept for eight days and nights.

 [101] "He was well named after St. Francis, because of the holes in
 his hands," said a Sorbonne doctor.

 [102] "Ah! me, how thou art changed! See, thou art neither two nor

 [103] Travellers to Paris in the days of King Francis had cause to
 remember gratefully that monarch's solicitude, for a maximum of
 charges was fixed, and an order made that every hotel-keeper should
 affix his prices outside the door, that extortion might be avoided.
 Among other maxima, the price of a pair of sheets, to "sleep not more
 than five persons," was to be five deniers (a penny).

 [104] The salamander was figured on the royal arms of Francis.

 [105] About £600,000 in present-day value.

 [106] For the first offence a fine; for the second, the lips to be
 cloven; for the third, the tongue pierced; for the fourth, death.

 [107] The image was stolen in 1545 and replaced by one of wood. This
 was struck down in 1551, and the bishop of Paris substituted for it
 one of marble.

 [108] One thousand two hundred are said to have suffered death during
 the month of vengeance.

 [109] Henry of Guise had succeeded to the dukedom after his father's

 [110] Suspicions of poison were entertained by the Huguenots. Jeanne,
 in a letter to the Marquis de Beauvais, complained that holes were
 made in her rooms that she might be spied upon.

 [111] Félibien and Lobïneau, 1725.

 [112] "That to show pity was to be cruel to them: to be cruel to them
 was to show pity."

 [113] The municipality gave presents of money to the archers who
 had taken part in the massacre, to the watermen who prevented the
 Huguenots from crossing the Seine, and to grave-diggers for having
 buried in eight days about 1,100 bodies.

 [114] Now known as the Galerie d'Apollon.

 [115] _Ugonottorum strages._ Inscription on the obverse of the medal.

 [116] Examples of magnificent costumes of the order may be seen in the
 Cluny Museum.

 [117] The Duke of Guise was so called from his face being scarred by a
 wound received at the battle of Dolmans.

 [118] The king had premonitions of a violent end. One day, after
 keeping Easter at Negeon with great devotion, he suddenly returned to
 the Louvre and ordered all the lions, bears, bulls, and other wild
 animals he kept there for baiting by dogs, to be shot. He had dreamt
 that he was set upon and eaten by wild beasts.

 [119] So called derisively, because he was born and brought up in the
 poor province of Bearn, in the Pyrenees.

 [120] Her majesty, we learn from the _Mémoires_ of L'Estoile, was of
 a rich figure, stout, fine eyes and complexion. She used no paint,
 powder or other _vilanie_.

 [121] The new palace was situated in the parish of St. Germain
 l'Auxerrois, the parish church of the Louvre.

 [122] The north tower was left only partially constructed, and was
 finished by Louis XIII.

 [123] By a curious coincidence the widening of the Rue de la
 Ferronnerie had been ordered just before the king was assassinated.

 [124] They marked the seven resting-places of the saint as he
 journeyed to St. Denis after his martyrdom.

 [125] The Grande Galerie.

 [126] In the Hôtel de Bourbon, east of the old Louvre, sometimes known
 as the Petit Bourbon.

 [127] The church of Notre Dame des Victoires commemorates the victory.

 [128] The Marché St. Honoré now occupies its site.

 [129] In 1793 the tomb was desecrated, and the head removed from the
 body, but in 1863, as an inscription tells, the head was recovered by
 the historian Duruy, and after seventy years reunited to the trunk.

 [130] A letter from Paris to Lyons was taxed at two sous: it now costs

 [131] The Rue Poulletier marks the line of the old channel between the

 [132] So named from the wooden seat, or _couche de bois_, covered with
 rich stuff embroidered with _fleur-de-lys_, on which the king sat when
 he attended a meeting of the Parlement.

 [133] One of the schemes of Francis I. to raise money had been to
 offer the benches to the highest bidders, and under the law of 1604
 the office of councillor became a hereditary property on payment to
 the court of one-sixtieth of its value. Moreover, the Parlement was
 but a local body, one among several others in the provinces.

 [134] The added indignity of the whip is an invention of Voltaire.

 [135] Louis used, however, to stilt his low stature by means of thick
 pads in his boots.

 [136] Taine, basing his calculation on a MS. bound with the monogram
 of Mansard, estimated the cost of Versailles in modern equivalent at
 about 750,000,000 francs (£30,000,000 sterling.)

 [137] The writer, whose youth was passed among the descendants of the
 Huguenot silk-weavers of Spitalfields, has indelible memories of their
 sterling character and admirable industry.

 [138] Marshal Luxembourg was dubbed the _Tapissier de Notre Dame_ (the
 upholsterer of Notre Dame), from the number of captured flags he sent
 to the cathedral.

 [139] In a previous campaign the king had taken his queen and
 two mistresses with him in one coach. The peasants used to amuse
 themselves by coming to see the "three queens."

 [140] When the Duke of Orleans was about to start for Spain, the king
 asked whom he had chosen to accompany him. Orleans mentioned, among
 others, Fontpertius. "What, nephew!" exclaimed Louis, "a Jansenist!"
 "So far from being a Jansenist," replied Orleans, "he doesn't even
 believe in God." "Oh, if that is so," said the king, "I see no reason
 why he should not go."

 [141] Among the privileges granted to England was the monopoly of
 supplying the Spanish Colonies with negro slaves.

 [142] Levau's south façade was not completely hidden by Perrault's
 screen, for the roofs of the end and central pavilions emerged from
 behind it until they were destroyed by Gabriel in 1755.

 [143] Jules Hardouin, the younger Mansard, was a nephew and pupil of
 François Mansard, who assumed his uncle's name. The latter was the
 inventor of the Mansard roof.

 [144] The sixth part of a sou.

 [145] Twelve alone were added to the St. Honoré quarter by levelling
 the Hill of St. Roch and clearing away accumulated rubbish.

 [146] It extended as far as the entrance to the quadrangle opposite
 the Pont des Arts. A double line of trees, north and south, enclosed a
 Renaissance garden of elaborate design, and a charming _bosquet_, or
 wood, filled the eastern extremity.

 [147] "By order of the king, God is forbidden to work miracles in this

 [148] In 1753 between 20th January and 20th February two hundred
 persons died of want (_misère_) in the Faubourg St. Antoine.

 [149] Some conception of the insanitary condition of the court may be
 formed by the fact that fifty persons were struck down there by this
 loathsome disease during the king's illness.

 [150] "I have seen the Louvre and its huge enclosure, a vast palace
 which for two hundred years is always being finished and always begun.
 Two workmen, lazy hodmen, speed very slowly those rich buildings, and
 are paid when they are thought of."

 [151] The aspect of the west front with Soufflot's "improvements"
 is well seen in _Les Principaux Monuments Gothiques de l'Europe_,
 published in Brussels, 1843.

 [152] Taine estimates the revenues of thirty-three abbots in terms of
 modern values at from 140,000 to 480,000 francs (£5600 to £19,200).
 Twenty-seven abbesses enjoyed revenues nearly as large.

 [153] The score of Rousseau's opera is still preserved in the
 Bibliothèque Nationale.

 [154] The Excise duty.

 [155] Personal and land-taxes paid by the humbler classes alone.

 [156] It is difficult, however, to read the sober and irrefutable
 picture of their miserable condition, given in the famous Books II.
 and V. of Taine's _Ancien Régime_, without deep emotion.

 [157] After the Thermidorian reaction in 1795, ninety-seven Jacobins
 were massacred by the royalists at Lyons on 5th May; thirty at Aix
 on 11th May. Similar horrors were enacted at Avignon, Arles, and
 Marseilles, and at other places in the south.

 [158] When de Brézé reported this to the king, he seemed vexed, and
 answered petulantly, "Well, if they won't go they must be left there."

 [159] A whole library has been written concerning the identity of this
 famous prisoner. There is little doubt that the mask was of velvet and
 not of iron, and that the mysterious captive who died on 19th November
 1703 in the Bastille was Count Mattioli of Bologna, who was secretly
 arrested for having betrayed the confidence of Louis XIV.

 [160] Only five francs were allowed for a bourgeois, a man of letters
 was granted ten; a Marshal of France obtained the maximum.

 [161] It was composed by one of the _émigrés_, M. de Limon, approved
 by the Emperor of Austria and the King of Prussia, and signed, against
 his better judgment, by the Duke of Brunswick.

 [162] The numbers have been variously estimated from 100 to 5000
 killed on the popular side.

 [163] "Sew we, spin we, sew we well, behold the coats we have made for
 the winter that is coming. Soldiers of the Fatherland, ye shall want
 for nothing."

 [164] _Inferno._ XV. 76-78.--"In whom lives again the seed of those
 Romans who remained there when the nest (Florence) of so much
 wickedness was made."

 [165] Mdlle. Curchod, for whom Gibbon "sighed as a lover."

 [166] "We could rouse no enthusiasm," said the head of a State
 Department to the writer at the time of the Fashoda incident, "even
 for a war for the recovery of Alsace and Lorraine, much less against

 [167] _See_ p. 41.

 [168] According to Sir Thomas Browne, bodies soon consumed there.
 "'Tis all one to lie in St. Innocents' churchyard as in the sands of
 Egypt, ready to be anything, in the ecstasy of being ever, and as
 content with six feet as the _moles_ of Adrianus."--_Urn Burial_, p.

 [169] The picture subsequently found its way to the apartments of
 Louis XVI., and followed him from Versailles to Paris. The attitude of
 this ill-fated monarch towards his advisers, says Michelet, was much
 influenced by a fixed idea that Charles I. lost his head for having
 made war on his people, and that James II. lost his crown for having
 abandoned them.

 [170] _French Painting in the Sixteenth Century_, by L. Dimier.
 London, 1904.

 [171] The picture, Une Dame présentée par la Madeleine, attributed to
 the Maître de Moulins at the Exhibition of Primitifs in the Pavilion
 de Marsan has now been acquired by the Louvre.

 [172] M. Lafenestre, the Director of the Louvre, informs the writer
 that he sees no sufficient reason at present for modifying the
 traditional attributions of the pictures loaned by the Louvre to the
 Exhibition of the Primitifs in the Pavilion de Marsan.

 [173] One of the few non-dramatic compositions of Molière is an
 eulogistic poem on Mignard's decoration of this dome.


    "O the fair statue! O the fair pedestal!
     The Virtues are on foot: Vice is on horseback."


    "He is here as at Versailles
     Without heart and without bowels."

 [176] A description of this and of other public balls of the Second
 Empire will be found in Taine's _Notes sur Paris_, which has been
 translated into English.

 [177] In 1664 we find _Guilliaume roy des Ménéstriers_, the viol
 players and masters of dancing, acting in the name of the foundation
 against the usurpations of the Fathers of the Christian Doctrine. In
 1720 the title of the church was confirmed by royal decree as St.
 Julian of the Minstrels. The church and the street of the minstrels
 were swept away to make the Rue Rambuteau.

 [178] It became the second Théâtre Français in 1819.

 [179] It became the Théâtre Français in 1799, and was burnt down in

 [180] The word is derived from basilica, a law court.

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

the insigna of a president=> the insigna of a president {pg vii}

counseller=> counsellor {pg 58}

sublety=> subtlety {pg 87}

in French story=> in French history {pg 131}

Ville gagneé=> Ville gagnée {pg 137}

facades=> façades {pg 149}

soldier and gentlemen=> soldier and gentleman {pg 156}

statemanship=> statemanship {pg 161}

was flung out of window=> was flung out of a window {pg 172}

chateâu=> château {pg 176}

St. Medard=> St. Médard {pg 230}

la Patrie reconnaisante=> la Patrie reconnaissante {pg 239}

Galerie Merciere=> Galerie Mercière {pg 241}

detention there rather in=> detention there rather than in {pg 251}

sleep well=> sleeps well {pg 253}

Champ du Mars=> Champ de Mars {pg 255}

Place de la Revolution=> Place de la Révolution {pg 260}

north facade=> north façade {pg 276}

joiner's workship=> joiner's workshop {pg 283}

famous D'Artagan=> famous D'Artagnan {pg 303}

Place du Carrouels=> Place du Carrousel {pg 304}

Salle de la Venus de Milo=> Salle de la Vénus de Milo {pg 305}

Sculptures du Moyen age=> Sculptures du Moyen âge {pg 305}

Montmatre=> Montmartre {pg 320}

Le Médecin malgre lui=> Le Médecin malgré lui {pg 325}

Montmarte=> Montmartre {index}

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